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Four major non-U.S. energy firms pull out of Iran, comply with sanctions

Posted by Zand-Bon on Oct 1st, 2010 and filed under INTERNATIONAL NEWS FOCUS, International Companies in Business with Iran, News, Sections. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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September 30, 2010

TEHRAN – Four major non-U.S. energy firms are pulling out of Iran to comply with U.S. sanctions and have committed to end all business with the country and its subsidiaries, the U.S. State Department announced on Thursday.

The U.S. State Department said that, as part of their efforts to increase pressure on the Government of Iran, the U.S. has been “aggressively urging foreign governments and companies to avoid commercial activity in Iran’s energy sector” and will continue to do so until Iran complies with its “international obligations.”

Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Statoil, and Italy ENI are among the companies that are pulling out to avoid U.S. penalties that target companies that are doing business with Iran. Recent legislation gives the U.S. power to penalize foreign companies who are investing more than million in Iran’s energy sector. The U.S. believes that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons capability, but Iran categorically denies this, and insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

One of the companies that will face new sanctions is Naftiran Intertrade Co, an alleged subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company and key conduit for funds for the Iranian oil industry.

Companies are taking steps to comply with the sanctions are exempt from penalties. There are a number of companies allegedly being investigator for possibly breaching sanctions, but the U.S. State Department has thus far, failed to name them.

This announcement comes about a day after the U.S. froze the assets of eight senior Iranian officials that are accused of serious human rights abuses, following the disputed presidential election in June 2009. They will also be barred from travelling to the U.S. and will not be able to do business with U.S. companies.

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