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Iran's brakes off

The Islamic Republic's ambitious oil and gas schemes will make progress against the background threat of more sanctions

The Iranian oil industry is familiar with being the hostage of the whims of US presidents. Eisenhower's permission for the CIA-inspired coup of 1953 after Mossadeq's nationalisation of oil, Carter's ban on American imports of Iranian crude following the 1979 Revolution, and Clinton's blocking of Conoco's deal to develop the Sirri fields in 1995 were all pivotal moments. Now Donald Trump's wish to scrap the nuclear agreement confronts the country's petroleum industry with an unusually binary future: access to investment and growth, or renewed sanctions. When America's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was chief executive of ExxonMobil, his company lobbied against sanctions on Iran. Now he wor

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