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US CEOs find crowded field in Iran

A group of American executives found a warm welcome in Iran and plenty of company from other foreigners investigating post-sanctions business opportunities.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to film or take pictures in Tehran.
A view of the inside of a shopping mall is seen in northwestern Tehran February 3, 2012. With just a month to go before a parliamentary election, Iran has been hit hard in recent months by new U.S. and European economic sanctions over its nuclear programme, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West says is aimed at making a bomb. Picture taken February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Mor

Ned Lamont thought he would be a pioneer when he set off earlier this month on his first trip to Iran, but the Connecticut businessman and former politician discovered otherwise when he walked into the Parzian Azadi Hotel in north Tehran.

“I thought we would be like Livingstone,” Lamont told Al-Monitor, referring to the famous 19th century explorer of Africa. But “everybody is already in Iran. There were groups from 20 different countries.”

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