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Russian Billionaire Potanin First in Iranian Investment Race

A computer engineer checks equipment at an internet service provider in Tehran, Iran.

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin has become the first major Russian investor to buy assets in Iran after the lifting of sanctions, the Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday.

Potanin's investment fund, New Winter Capital Partners (WCP), invested an undisclosed sum into Swedish firm Pomegranate, a shareholder in a number of Iranian Internet companies including the country's largest online retailer Digikala, Kommersant reported.

The was confirmed by the managing director of Winter Capital Advisors, a firm which consults for WCP.

According to Kommersant's unidentified source, the deal was completed in March.

The United Nations and the European Union lifted sanctions imposed on Iran over its missile program on Jan. 16, 2016.

The lifting of sanctions was followed with interest by a number of Russian investors, including software company ABBYY and Evgeny Roytman, who is set to implement the Russian Glonass satellite navigation system and mobile communication system in Iran, Kommersant reported.

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