Rosneft CEO warns European firms against ceasing cooperation with Iran

Tasnim – The CEO of Russian oil major Rosneft warned of consequences for Europe’s economy if some European companies fail to continue cooperation with Iran and purchase oil from the country.

Speaking at a forum in the Italian town of Verona on Thursday, Igor Sechin said certain European companies’ refusal to maintain cooperation with the Islamic Republic, such as by halting oil imports from the Middle Eastern country, could have serious consequences for Europe’s entire economy, RIA Novosti reported.

Slamming as unacceptable the US move to unilaterally impose sanctions on Iran without a UN Security Council approval, he added that OPEC may not have enough free oil production capacity to compensate for lower supplies from other producers hit by US sanctions such as Iran or Venezuela.

Elsewhere, Sechin said that Russia’s largest oil producer was comfortable with the current oil prices and no one in the world was interested in a spike, which would jeopardize global economic growth.

He also said the global oil sector needed a stable, significant inflow of investments in the long term to compensate for ageing oil-producing assets.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), and announced plans for new sanctions against Tehran.

Since then, a number of European companies, including France’s total, have pulled out of Iran.

The White House has also announced plans to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports and launch a campaign of “maximum economic and diplomatic pressure” on Iran.

Iranian officials have underlined that the US plan to cut Iran’s crude exports to zero is not going to happen.

Earlier this week, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran’s oil exports cannot be stopped, adding that that no country has “the capacity to provide a replacement for the Iranian oil in the world’s demanding market.”