What the Iran Nuclear Deal Can Teach Us About Business Transactions

In a landmark agreement, Iran and six world powers have reached a deal to lift sanctions that have been in place for 12 years, in exchange for the nation’s agreement to limit its nuclear program. While both supporters and critics alike consider the agreement historic, many argue that the U.S. may not be on the best side of the deal. Here’s our take on what the Iran nuclear deal can teach us from a business perspective.
Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, made it clear he felt the nuclear agreement left much to be desired from an American position: “We must now face the reality that there are serious consequences to voting down the agreement or pulling out of it,” he said. “I think we swallow hard, acknowledge our negotiators got out-negotiated, and that we have a flawed deal, and make the best of it.”
Let’s hypothetically apply these comments to a business transaction. Does this sound like a deal that you would want to be on the wrong end of? Probably not.
While we are not discounting the argument that a deal of this magnitude and historical significance has its own playbook and set of rules, what transpired in the US-Iran negotiations can be illuminating to those involved in any type of business transaction.
Getting a deal done is easy, but getting the right deal done is a challenge.
  • Always keep the original strategy in front. Yes, closing a deal is ultimately a transaction and there are mechanical details that need to be handled. But don’t sacrifice the original strategic intent for expediency in getting the deal done.
  • Don’t “need” the deal. If you are in a negotiation and you give the other party the impression that you must make this deal, you may be at a huge disadvantage at the negotiation table.
  • An agreement is only as good as the parties signing it. Many commentators have pointed out that the key to the Iranian deal is trusting Iran to stick with the deal. As in business, it’s essential to assess levels of trust throughout a negotiation and factor it into the structure of any deal you hammer out.
Only time will tell if this remarkable deal will stick and bring about the benefits hoped for by all the parties concerned, however these insights are worth remembering before you enter into any buy/sell transaction.  Talley and Company has negotiated hundreds of M&A transactions and can help you make the most of a transaction based on your goals and priorities. 
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