Iran Economy NewsTotal says has halted oil products trade with Iran

Total says has halted oil products trade with Iran


Reuters: French oil major Total has halted all its trade in oil products with Iran in compliance with a European embargo, Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said in an interview.

MARRAKESH, Morocco, Oct 16 (Reuters) – French oil major Total has halted all its trade in oil products with Iran in compliance with a European embargo, Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said in an interview.

Total was one of several European oil companies that had been resisting pressure from the United States to stop doing business with Iran, part of Washington’s drive to isolate Tehran over its nuclear programme.

De Margerie told Reuters that his company was now respecting the embargo, though he indicated that it had not taken this decision in response to U.S. pressure.

“It’s very simple. There is an embargo which has been voted on and has been transposed into European and French law,” he said on Saturday on the sidelines of the World Policy Conference in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.

“We await the implementing laws, but there you are, we will respect the embargo. The embargo is no more products sold, no more products bought, and we have already done it, we’ve already stopped,” he said.

Asked how long ago Total had stopped trading with Iran, de Margerie said: “Since the decision was voted on. We have not waited for the implementing decrees. So it’s over. It’s because it’s the European law, I want to be clear on that.”

The United States and some other states suspect Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear atomic energy programme. Tehran denies that, saying it is enriching uranium purely for electricity.


Many international companies operating in a wide range of industries have stopped doing business with the Iran since the U.N. Security Council toughened sanctions in June.

The U.S. Congress has followed up with additional measures penalising Iran’s energy and banking sector and has gone after foreign companies that do business with Tehran.

But some European oil majors have balked at U.S. pressure to stop trading with Iran.

Two weeks ago, Statoil said it was providing Iran with technical assistance and ENI said it would exit Iran only when existing deals expire.

The Islamic Republic continues to resist pressure to open wide-ranging talks with six world powers who have offered trade and diplomatic benefits if Tehran suspends enrichment.

Iran sits on the world’s second largest natural gas reserves after Russia and has one of the largest proven reserves of oil.

Separately, the Total CEO also said he was confident a stalled deal to acquire a stake in two oil blocks in Uganda from Tullow Oil would still go ahead.

Tullow bought a half share in the blocks from former partner Heritage Oil with a view to selling down part of the interests to Total and China’s CNOOC.

But the Ugandan government declined to approve the transaction following a tax dispute with Heritage.

“It is delayed. That is sure. It is annoying because there is a lot of work to do. … But I really do not think that can call into question the entry of the Chinese and us at Total (into the concessions),” de Margerie said. (Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Latest news

Iran: People of Khoy Still Reeling From 5.9-Magnitude Earthquake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 struck northwest Iran on Saturday, killing at least three people and injuring...

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

Must read

Russia and Iran: An Uncomfortable Alliance

Iran Focus  London, 15 May - Iran and Russia...

Iran’s FM expected in Damascus to attend summit

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Mar. 28 - Iran's Foreign...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you