Total Officially Quits Iran Over US Sanctions Risk : French energy giant Total has officially quit its multi-billion-dollar gas project in Iran, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Monday, following the reimposition of the first phase of US sanctions.
“Total has officially left the agreement for the development of phase 11 of South Pars (gas field). It has been more than two months that it announced that it would leave the contract,” he told the ICANA news agency, which is linked to the oil ministry.
The pullout came as Iran on Monday said Europe should accelerate its efforts to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the other powers that signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Efforts by the remaining signatories – EU members Britain, France and Germany plus China and Russia – to avoid its collapse are struggling as Washington has said any firms dealing with Teheran will be barred from doing business in the United States.
“Europeans and other signatories of the deal have been trying to save the deal … but the process has been slow. It should be accelerated,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said. “Iran relies mainly on its own capabilities to overcome America’s new sanctions,” he told a news conference broadcast on state TV.
European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal, which US President Donald Trump has called “deeply flawed”. Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran in August, targeting its trade in gold and other precious metals, purchases of US dollars and its car industry.
The European powers, China and Russia say they will do more to encourage their businesses to remain engaged with Iran. But the threat of US sanctions has prompted many major companies to pull out of Iran. Source: France24