International trade partner Harry Clark recently spoke with Law360 about the possible implications of an Iran nuclear agreement on U.S.-based companies.
"As to U.S.-based companies, it’s hard to see any particular reason to spend much time and effort today planning for a world in which they can work with Iran. That day is probably very far off," said Clark, who chairs Orrick’s International Trade and Compliance Group.
“For foreign-based companies, the decision may be less cut-and-dried,” he said. "The Shells, the Enis and the Totals have a lot more to consider here than the Chevrons and Exxons do."
Clark also noted that as an energy company contemplating doing business in Iran, "you sort of have to guess as to how much effort you want to put into it, how likely the accord will be extended beyond the first six months. The U.S. may never change anything."
"Let’s say the Iranians do everything they’re supposed to do — are there political factors that will prevent the Obama administration [from moving] forward with the program it wants? It may be, at the end of the day, the Democratic leadership in the Senate is able to give the administration what it wants, but it may not. Ultimately, that’s who holds the cards here,” Clark said.