“Hassan Rouhani – a man we can do business with?” That was the question on the lips of many of the global movers and shakers gathered at Davos last week. Amidst the usual vapid spiel – this year’s gems included “reshaping the world” and “the deflation ogre” – some genuinely interesting geo-politics punched through at the annual Swiss gabfest.
For the first time in a decade, the leader of Iran was there. What’s more, he was relaxed, laughing and talking incessantly about his “active foreign policy” to achieve his “economic goals”. Such economic ambition is overdue. Last year, the Iranian economy shrank by 5.8pc and is now enduring its worst financial crisis for at least two decades, partly due to sanctions linked to Iran’s highly controversial nuclear programme.