Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Italy's state financing agency, and Sace, Italy's export credit agency, have issued €4b of credit lines and associated export guarantees to Iranian public entities to engage in infrastructure projects. In addition, Sace is providing €800m in funding for Italian SME's doing business in Iran.

The move is one of the first in a series of foray's into the recently-opened economy, with companies from Boeing to Total engaging with Iran.

U.S. sanctions and the prevention of U.S. banks from dealing in dollar transactions with Iran remain major hurdles, which makes the €4b Italian deal even more significant.