The crippling US sanctions on Iran’s economy have barred almost every conceivable type of commerce, initially forcing Iran to move back to the gold standard for international trade by denying them access to international banks, then banning the gold trade as well.
This month’s P5+1 meeting with Iran is going to include an offer of trivial concessions to Iran, effectively rolling back the ban on the gold trade and putting Iran right back to where they were a few weeks ago, in return for closing the Fordo enrichment plant.
Fordo is a large portion of Iran’s civilian enrichment capacity, and is irksome to the US and Israel because, being deep underground it would be much less convenient to attack than Natanz, the other plant.
Though Iran has said it is eager to make a deal, the trivial nature of the offer and the large demand makes it difficult to imagine it will be accepted. After all, if all they get out of Fordo is the right to trade in gold, closing what is left of their civilian program likely won’t get them much more, and will leave them more or less in a state of permanent sanctions.