File - Peugeot 206 Sedans are displayed during a launch at the Iran Khodro automaker complex ,13 km (8 miles) west of Tehran, in this September 14, 2005. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl
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The phone line was buzzing Thursday at Jack Hayes's office at Steptoe & Johnson law firm in Washington – several Fortune 500 clients wanted to know what the nascent nuclear accord in Iran meant for doing business in the Islamic Republic.What President Barack Obama called an "historic understanding" with Iran is unlikely to help many U.S. businesses in the foreseeable future, given the powerful constituencies in both countries that still don't trust each other.The European Union's sanctions against Iran are mostly tied to the nuclear standoff and are likely to be lifted over time if Iran abides by its commitments.More than 50 medical companies received sanctions waivers from the U.S. Treasury Department last year to export to Iran, including Boston Scientific, GE Healthcare, and Bausch & Lomb, according to Treasury Department records published by the Wall Street Journal.U.S. oil companies, the industry with the most to gain from access to Iran, will likely have a disadvantage against European companies, including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Total, due to the more-restrictive U.S. sanctions, Bloomberg reported on March 30 .
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