The lifting of some sanctions, the release of some assets, and the purchase of a few big-ticket item deals from European Union states may have caused some to erroneously assume that Iran’s economic picture will now improve. While good news, such as reduced inflation, exists, overall economic improvement is likely to be modest and short-lived.  

The repeal of secondary sanctions have for the most part have been lifted. This opens the way for European countries allied with the United States to resume trade with Iran and invest in the Iranian economy. However, almost all sanctions which make it illegal for American citizens to do the same remain in place. While Iran may resume the import of caviar, rugs, and pistachios to the U.S. market, little else will be permitted. One key exception to this is American airline manufacturing companies like Boeing will be permitted to sell commercial aircraft to Iran. Other products which may be legally exported to Iran are medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and some consumer technical devices. However, all sales by American enterprises to Iran will require a United States Treasury Authorization Stamp. Nevertheless, for most other commodities, U.S. companies will must have their foreign subsidiaries engage in bilateral commerce.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif is the most accomplished and shrewdest analyst of the United States in the Islamic Republic. Not only did he receive two college degrees from American Universities, his son and daughter were born here. While attending school, Zarif circulated widely in Los Angeles which has the largest Iranian-American communities in the USA. While he served as Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations, Zarif exploited his contacts in American academia as well as U.S. government and intelligence analysts of the regime. Through this networking, Zarif had himself introduced to several Iran policy makers and analysts. Although his legendary charm did not work on all, it did on some.

Tehrangeles is the nickname that some have long applied to the largest concentration of Iranian-Americans in the United States. The most intense concentration exists in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles (LA). Iranian-Americans of all political and religious persuasions live in this area. The vast majority are first and second generation refugee families who left Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Most despise the theocratic junta which now governs Iran. But not all.

During the past several years there has been a myriad of complaints regarding the pro-regime leanings of VOA's Persian language broadcasts. It is difficult to discern whether this apparent obsequious orientation in favor of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the result of too weighted an attempt by VOA management to demonstrate its independence from U.S. policy towards Iran or is the result of a pro-regime ideological persuasion. Nevertheless, a recent memo by the Executive Editor of the Persian Service appears to confirm accusations that the VOA is much too attentive to Tehran's concerns.