The shackles are off and the Iranian government is seeking to secure a timely economic boost ahead of elections in February. The first post-sanctions crude export deal has been signed and President Hassan Rohani on 25 January embarked on a tour of Europe, leaving a flurry of trade agreements in his wake.

Before leaving Tehran, Mr Rohani met with China’s President Xi Jinping, following which he proudly announced plans to increase trade between the two countries to $600bn over the next...