Patrick Pouyanné

Total cannot resume work in Iran due to US sanctions threat – CEO

Sputnik – In August, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that the French company had officially withdrawn from the agreement on the development of the South Pars 11 project.

Total President and CEO Patrick Pouyanne said Wednesday that there was no possibility of resuming work in Iran because the US sanctions threaten the firm.

“The answer is no because we are in a world where one country was so easily imposing its law … We cannot afford to take the risk to be banned from using the US financial system,” Pouyanne said at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week forum, while commenting on the EU’s plans to bypass US sanctions and resume trade with the Islamic Republic.

Last week, the EU foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, said that the foreign ministers of the remaining signatories to the Iranian nuclear deal would create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in order to facilitate trade between European companies and Iran amid US sanctions against Tehran.

She explained that the legal entity would be established to enable European companies to continue legitimate transactions with Iran in accordance with EU legislation.

The Russian Energy Week forum started earlier in the day in Moscow and will continue through Saturday. Sputnik is the official media partner of the event.