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Geopolitics

From Germany To Japan, Race To Be First To Do Business With Iran

As the lifting of sanctions appears to move closer to reality, business and government leaders from leading economies are eager to restore trading ties with Tehran

Foreign currency is still highly valued in Tehran
Foreign currency is still highly valued in Tehran
Cerstin Gammelin

BERLIN — Credit cards don't work. Remittances require complicated special authorizations. Financial institutions are banished from international banking systems. No, we're not talking about Greece or some obscure tiny nation in Asia, but a major player in the Middle East: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Still, in all likelihood, it will not be like this for long. Iran is being courted as a significant business partner with the Western world. After the signing of July's nuclear treaty, longstanding economic sanctions imposed by the West are expected to be lifted by 2016. European countries have spent the past few months looking to rekindle business relations with Iran. Beyond its large deposits of natural gas and oil, Iranian society places a high value on education and personal economic advancement.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 90: Three Months Since The Start Of A War That’s Changed The World

Vladimir Putin had planned to roll through Ukraine and splinter the West. While it has not gone according to plan, the destruction and uncertainty left in the path of the invasion has shaken the world.

A soldier of special forces of Ukraine displays his tattoos

Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Few will forget waking up to the news that Thursday morning in February. It was, exactly three months ago, in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 24, when Vladimir Putin sent his armies, missiles and fighter jets across Ukraine’s borders, from points north and east, launching a full-scale invasion of a sovereign nation of 44 million.

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It has, by all accounts, not gone as Putin had planned: the Ukrainian military resisting the much larger, better-equipped Russian invaders; the West unified in its support of Kyiv, through arms shipments and harsh sanctions against Moscow; steadily rising opposition at home.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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