Whether Iran succeeds in gaining legitimacy with Europe and the United States after the end of sanctions by the West may have less to do with choices by the Western countries and more to do with internal Iranian politics. All of the parties to the Iranian nuclear deal want to provide that legitimacy; but Iran’s opaque internecine politics may get in the way.
On January 16, 2016, governments in Europe and America ended the sanctions they had imposed on Iran (the U.S. since 1979, Europe since 2007 and increasingly since 2012) for reasons internal to themselves. Iran had not changed the behavior that had led to the imposition of sanctions—neither its nuclear program nor its leadership of the Shia side in the current round of the Sunni-Shia war.
January 16, 2016, was a milestone in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was the day that the nuclear deal with the United States was implemented and most sanctions on Iran were lifted. Iran immediately received access to more than $100 billion in frozen oil funds, and that’s only the beginning of the bonanza.