The main Iranian foreign investment law is the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA). The FIPPA grants foreign investors the same rights, protections and facilities available to domestic investors. This includes permission for investment in all fields where private sector activity is allowed and permission to hold up to 100% of shares in Iranian legal entities.
Protection against expropriation and nationalization is guaranteed except where public interest reasons apply, in which case the expropriation should follow a non-discriminatory procedure and the investor should obtain compensation based on the real value of the investment.
Moreover, the FIPPA includes provisions to ensure free transfer of foreign capital and profits of foreign investment abroad. Foreign investors may claim through the Act to convert Iranian Rial and to acquire necessary foreign currency for such transfer. Furthermore, residence and work permits for foreign personnel are facilitated under the FIPPA.
The FIPPA defines a foreign investor as any non-Iranian or Iranian individual or legal entity utilizing capital of foreign origin, provided it has obtained the relevant investment license. Foreign capital is defined as being all types of capital, including cash or in kind that has been imported into Iran. To obtain an investment licence, an application has to be made to the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran (OIETAI).