Business: Welcome Mat in Iran

Oil-rich Iran, long regarding foreign interest in its black wealth with suspicion, last week put out the welcome mat and declared open house for all comers. After two days of debate, the Majlis (the lower house of Parliament) passed a new law that opens up vast new areas of Iran for oil exploration and development under surprisingly favorable terms for foreign investors.

The terms were surprising because only a few months ago Iran demanded a 75-25 profit split from interested Italian investors v. the 50-50 split that is general in the Middle East. Parliament was preparing to write the new terms into...

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