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Iran abandons hope for WTO accession

Although many thought Iran might finally be able to join the World Trade Organization following the nuclear deal, the Islamic Repubic appears to have lost hope of becoming part of the influential body.
World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo talks to the audience during the International Poultry and Pork show in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Nacho Doce - RC1D9C8ECA60

Hope for Iran’s long-overdue accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) appears to have disappeared. The July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Tehran and six world powers, has done little to bring about a consensus within the organization to proceed with Iran’s membership bid. Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the Iranian government has little to show in terms of practical action to realize its stated aim of liberalizing the economy.

The WTO’s consensus rules are such that a single opposing, influential member can be enough to reject a country’s accession bid. Iran first applied for membership in the important world body 21 years ago, but its repeated efforts to accede to the organization have long been stalled by the United States.

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