Financial advisor Hamid Biglari left Iran for the United States in 1977 - two years before the 1979 Islamic Revolution - when his native country produced nearly 6 million barrels of oil per day. In the following decades, Iran's economy collapsed due to sanctions by the west, and more recently, falling oil prices.
"It turns out that Iran has lost about $135 billion just from the fact that it wasn't able to produce as much as it did post-sanctions," Biglari told KGOU's World Views. But it's going to lose, over the next five years, about $180 billion. It will lose even more than what it lost during sanctions. So it's a double-whammy deal."
Biglari serves as a managing partner at the TGG Group, a Manhattan-based financial advisory firm for Fortune 100 companies. He's also worked with Citibank, and last year Bloomberg News called him Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's "go-to guy" in New York financial circles.
Although some sanctions have been lifted following a nuclear deal with the five permanent members of the United Nations' Security Council and Russia (the so-called "P5-plus-1"), Biglari says Iran still has problems that have to be solved before the country can generate more foreign investment and rebuild its economy.
"If you look at the various elements of what makes it difficult to do business in Iran, one of the most challenging is corruption," Biglari said. "You need to feed a lot of different hands in terms of getting something done."
Watch Joshua Landis extended interview with Hamid Biglari