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China and Russia push into Iran, exploiting Europe’s caution

The Wall Street Journal | Benoit Faucon: Chinese and Russian state-backed companies are maneuvering to profit from European firms leaving Iran, threatening the Trump administration’s bid to raise economic pressure on Tehran.

Their efforts show how Iran’s business landscape has shifted since the Trump administration withdrewfrom the nuclear pact, which lifted crippling sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, following 17 months of rising pressure. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened the “strongest set of sanctions in history” if Iran doesn’t rein in its military activities across the Middle East and stop testing long-range missiles.

European executives who tried to make inroads in Iran since the Obama administration struck the nuclear deal in 2015 are now concerned Beijing and Moscow will seize an insurmountable advantage in a large, growing market.

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