EghtesadOnline: Iran has approved more than $12 billion worth of foreign direct investments during the period from December 22, 2015, to February 28, 2017, according to a report by the Organization for Investments and Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran.
The northeastern province of North Khorasan, with around $3.378 billion worth of investment, tops the list of Iranian provinces.
East Azarbaijan in northwest Iran followed with $1.5 billion worth of foreign investment.
Isfahan, Tehran and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces came next in terms of attracting over $1 billion each, according to Financial Tribune.
Germany and Spain were the biggest investors in Iran over the period, with more than $3.96 billion and $3.2 billion worth of investments respectively.
Other major countries to invest in Iran include Armenia, Afghanistan, the UAE, the UK, Ireland, Belarus, Turkey, Barbados, Azerbaijan, China, Russia, Sri Lanka, Iraq, France, Cyprus, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, India and Venezuela.
According to Ahmad Jamali, director general of the Economy Ministry's Foreign Investment Office, over the 11 months to February 19, around 5,200 investment projects were identified across the country, of which 825 were introduced to potential foreign investors.
The highest amount of foreign investment made before President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013 stood at close to $4.7 billion in 2012, according to the Economy Ministry. The figures for 2013, 2014 and 2015 amounted to $3.1 billion, $2.1 billion and $2.05 billion respectively.
The boost in FDIs attracted by Iran owes mostly to the nuclear agreement the country signed with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany). The agreement known internationally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed on July 14, 2015, and took effect on January 16, 2016, removing years of sanctions against Iran's economy. In exchange, Tehran agreed to limit the scope of its nuclear program.