Iran – History in the making

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It wasn’t quite John Simpson on the plane with the Ayatollah returning to Iran in 1979, but nonetheless Euromoney experienced a bit of history in January.

We were on a Lufthansa plane from Frankfurt to Tehran that became the first international flight to arrive in Iran after sanctions were lifted. 

Unlike that famous 1979 flight, which faced the threat of being shot down by the Iranian Air Force, still loyal to the Shah, it was a quieter affair on board LH600, jammed to the gills in first and business class by British and German business executives.

It landed within minutes of the press conference in Vienna that confirmed the lifting of sanctions. Daimler had representatives on the plane, so it was no surprise when it signed an agreement to return to Iran to build trucks just a day or so later. 

"Even at 1am," says Euromoney’s eyewitness, "there was a special feeling in the air." 

A special feeling which, in our experience, might have been punctured by the spirit-sapping process of getting a visa on arrival at Tehran Airport in the middle of the night.