About Us

What is IBR?

The IBR project is a non-profit initiative that encourages and guides companies to act responsibly when doing business in Iran.

IBR works collaboratively with companies, governments and other stakeholders to foster business practices that respect people and the environment, enhancing the benefits business can bring and reducing risks for companies.

We neither promote nor oppose business investment in Iran, seeking only to facilitate adherence to international responsible business standards.

As companies embrace the potential offered by Iran, a commitment to doing business responsibly can initiate a virtuous circle with benefits for all.

What we do

IBR works with companies, governments and other stakeholders to foster responsible business in Iran by:

Providing in-depth expertise on business conditions and practices in Iran and the issues relevant to doing business in the country responsibly.
Engaging with stakeholders to catalyse discussion, identify salient issues, and share good practices for avoiding adverse impacts on people and the environment.
Providing guidance on specific measures and strategies companies can take in the Iranian context to avoid being involved in harmful impacts.

IBR offers Online Resources through the IBR website, as well as opportunities for Collaborative Engagement through a variety of single and multi-stakeholder forums.


IBR’s Online Resources

IBR’s Online Resources, many in both English and Farsi, include an expanding roster of briefings, videos and infographics that offer information critical to doing business responsibly in Iran, and a curated news feed that provides continuous updates on business and investment activity in Iran from trusted news sources.

IBR has also developed Practice Notes, available as an online interactive feature, a report and a slide presentation, which bring users the learning from existing company practice in challenging environments worldwide together with detailed insights on how these practices may be applied in Iran.

These online resources help companies and governments meet the expectations of investors, civil society, the public and other stakeholders regarding responsible business behavior.


IBR’s Collaborative Engagement

IBR’s Collaborative Engagement programme offers companies, governments, financiers, investors and other stakeholders a variety of in-person forums in which to discuss, share experiences, learn more intensively about the challenges to responsible business issues in Iran, and develop effective and practical strategies to address these challenges.

These forums include:

  • Informational Sessions that allow stakeholders to learn more fully about the range of challenges to responsible business in Iran and offer the opportunity to raise specific concerns and ask questions of our expert team.
  • Thematic Workshops that focus more intensively on specific topic areas and provide access to IBR’s in-depth research on targeted areas of concern.
  • Good Practice Dialogues that offer single- and multi-stakeholder settings to discuss and share strategies and experiences pursuing responsible business in challenging environments and develop practical and effective strategies specific to Iran.

IBR has carried out a number of sessions and workshops with companies, industry associations, export credit agencies (ECAs), financial institutions, multilateral development organizations and government.

Our Approach


IBR neither promotes nor opposes business investment in Iran. We seek only to facilitate adherence to responsible business standards.


IBR's deep Iran expertise and decades of experience in implementing international responsible business standards is supported by our unbiased and rigorous research.


IBR identifies concrete steps that companies and governments can take to implement and support responsible practices when doing business in Iran.


While there are different views regarding foreign investment in Iran, where such investment does occur, the imperative should be on promoting responsible business standards. Such standards can help companies avoid harmful impacts on people and the environment and improve the benefits that business can bring to the people of Iran.

International standards on responsible business call upon companies to have a policy commitment and management systems in place to avoid, mitigate and remediate actual or potential negative impacts.

Yet companies entering Iran will find that business practices there may raise the risk of negative impacts, and that they will be operating in a context that poses significant challenges to responsible business.

These challenges include:

  1. Choosing business partners when ownership can be hard to determine and certain sanctions remain
  2. Keeping workers safe where occupational health and safety conditions are well below international standards
  3. Avoiding child and forced labour
  4. Avoiding the exploitation of the large refugee and migrant worker population
  5. Ensuring data protection and the security of personnel when online privacy is compromised
  6. Not contributing to the worsening of air pollution and water shortages that are already at crisis levels
  7. Preventing workplace discrimination based on gender, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or disability
  8. Providing responsible labour conditions and grievance mechanisms when independent unions are not allowed

Without effective strategies to address these challenges, companies can find themselves involved in adverse impacts on people and the environment. These impacts not only hurt communities, they can also result in legal, financial and reputational damage to companies.

IBR’s mission is to help avoid such impacts, so that the benefits of investment can be shared by all.

Our background

Established in 2016, the IBR project is a joint initiative of the London-based Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) and the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

BHRRC brings its depth of experience with international standards on responsible business worldwide and CHRI brings its extensive knowledge and expertise on Iran.