London, 1 Jun – It’s always been tricky to do business with Iran, but this has become even more so since Donald Trump announced that he would be withdrawing the US from the nuclear deal last month and reimposing sanctions on the mullahs.
Ever since Trump’s announcement on May 8, businesses have been pulling out of deals with Iran or promising to do so if they cannot get sanctions waivers – no business wants to get shut out of the US financial markets.
The latest of these businesses is Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP), who announced that they had suspended any new transactions related to Iran after May 8 and would be winding down their current relationship, and General Electric (GE), who is planning to end their sales of oil and natural-gas equipment to Iran later this year. This is a big hit for Iran, as GE subsidiaries alone were prepared to bid $150 million on Iranian pipelines.
A GE representative said: “We are adapting our activities in Iran as necessary to conform with recent changes in US law. GE’s activities in Iran to date have been limited and in compliance with US government rules, licenses and policies.”
Previous withdrawals and more companies cutting ties with Iran
This is not the first time that BCP, one of the few financial services companies which had business ties with companies and banks in Iran, has cut ties with Iran.
In 2011, it severed relations during the height of the tensions between the West and Iran, because of proposed sanctions and allegations that Iran’s central bank had been involved in money laundering.
Some are also speculating that Turkish-owned BCP cancelled its business with Iran because of Iran’s execution of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla.
Several other companies, including French energy giant Total, have announced that they will pause operations in Iran.
Whatever the reason for these businesses pulling out of deals with Iran, this is good news. The money that the mullahs get from these deals does not help the Iranian people, by building schools or hospitals. It doesn’t even help them put food on the table.
Instead, it is syphoned off by the mullahs, through their many front businesses, to fund the Iranian military, its suppressive security forces, and its proxy terror cells. It is used to suppress the Iranian people, cause chaos in the Middle East, and ensure the survival of the mullahs’ rule.