My daily commute involves a walk down this city’s most expensive shopping avenue, Fayyazi — past tony boutiques that sell Calvin Klein jeans, Gucci handbags, Dior perfume and Victoria’s Secret lingerie. Over lunch, my Iranian co-workers debate the merits of BlackBerrys versus iPhones, both found in the backrooms of electronics stores here.
As an American living in Iran’s turbulent capital through this historic summer, I was initially struck by how easy it is to find practically anything from back home, despite supposedly stringent Western trade sanctions. (Since President Ronald Reagan imposed export restrictions in 1987, technically only agricultural and medical products and “informational materials” like movies and magazines can be exported to Iran from the United States.) But as an analyst for a local hedge fund, I’ve also observed how easy it is to conduct substantial business with European investors and how firms like the one where I worked have adjusted to being considered corporate untouchables by the West.… Seguir leyendo »