US sanctions pose risk for Russia, IRGC gas projects in Iran (exclusive)

Business Materials 27 July 2017 17:25

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 27

By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:

The recent bipartisan package of US sanctions targeting Moscow, Tehran and Pyongyang is very likely to exert a dramatic impact on Iran’s gas industry, a UK- based expert told Trend.

“Once the new sanctions bill is approved, it will affect those parts of Iran’s oil and gas industry that involve Russian companies as well as domestic firms affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC),” Mehrdad Emadi, a consultant at the UK-based Betamatrix International Consultancy, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

Elaborating on his forecast, Emadi said that the sanctions package includes all firms and entities linked to the IRGC and this is while a group of main contractors operating at Iran’s South Pars, the world's largest gas field, are affiliated with the elite force.

In the meantime, the sanctions are capable of making an impact on Iran’s gas exports as the sanctions package put embargo on all Russian oil and gas companies including Lukoil, which are negotiating huge projects in Iran, he said.

On the other hand the sanctions may restrict the European investment in Iran’s gas projects if the business entities linked to the RGs are partners, Emadi added."

On July 3 France's Total signed a $5 billion deal with Tehran to develop phase 11 of South Pars, marking the first major Western energy investment in the Islamic Republic since the lifting of nuclear related sanctions against Tehran.

“Therefore, the sanctions would directly and indirectly hit the engineering and investment sectors of the industry in Iran,” he suggested.

However, those companies which are not linked to the IRGC will be on the safe side, the expert concluded.

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to slap new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea but the bill in order to become a law needs to be signed by President Donald Trump.