Iran is a bit like the prodigal son that has returned home. The country is keen to move forward by working with Western nations. And they also wish to create new trade opportunities with them. But, one stumbling block is trust - both by Iran and Western countries.
The lifting of economic sanctions has meant Iran can increase trade with the world. Still, Iran - and the West - are bitter about past events spanning 60-odd years. Both the United States and Europe are hesitant about trading with Iran. So, what will it take to start trusting Iran once again?
Well, the short answer is quite a lot. Iran is a nation that has proven links with supported terrorism abroad. Plus, they make no secret of their hatred of Israel. Here's what we think Iran needs to do to improve relations with the Western world:
Stop funding terrorism
One of the biggest reasons foreign firms are reluctant to do business with Iran is terrorism. The country has links with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and even Al-Qaeda. Iran is also known to harbor terrorists by providing them a safe haven within its country. Plus, they've even provided militants with armor and military training.
Iran needs to stop promoting itself as the bad boy of the Middle East. Otherwise, foreign investors are unlikely to trade with them.
Aim for peace
It seems that Iran is fighting battles with many countries these days. Sure, the lifting of sanctions by the U.S. and Europe will help pave the way for future peace. But, the country still has a lot of work to do.
Each day, critics of the deal such as Mark Dubowitz continue to lobby for the U.S. to reconsider the deal. Those critics believe that Iran is now a bigger threat to the world. Especially as trade is now easier as they no longer have to rely on the black market.
Iran needs to start working towards peaceful resolutions with its enemies. Otherwise, the country will be a hotbed of political instability for years to come.
Just what is it that Iran does with the money that it makes? The sad truth is that even Iranians themselves don't know the answer. For it to stop being a hermit country, Iran needs to be more transparent.
They need to show their citizens, and the world, what they're doing with the money the country makes. Ultimately, the Iranian government has the power to do that.
Following on from the previous section about transparency is accountability. Iran needs to prove to outside investors that the money it gets comes from legitimate sources. For example, when it sells oil, they should show that their customers are bonafide.
Doing so will increase trust from the foreign banking community. Let's face it. The West has been under fire for years for money laundering. They don't want to get seen as being up to their "old tricks" once again.
Iranians also want to know the money they invest in their home nation isn't used illegally.