US threats cast shadow on Iran’s co-op with oil giants (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, March. 3
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad – Trend:
Concerns over the fate of the nuclear deal have cast shadow on efforts to bolster cooperation with leading international companies to develop Iran’s aged oil industry.
“It appears that the international community including the US has realized that the nuclear deal must remain intact. Therefore, it appears that Iran would enjoy a proper situation regarding the nuclear deal. However, the leading international companies may remain reluctant to cooperate with Iran, if the other threats that the US is speaking about become true and deprive Iran of benefiting from the nuclear deal,” Mehdi Mirmoezi, CEO of Pasargad Energy Development Company (PEDC), told Trend.
Ahead of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s controversial visit to Iran, Paris has said that the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program was a major concern. The ministry added that it wanted Iran to contribute in a “positive” manner to solve crises in the Middle-East.
“In this regard, the crisis in Syria and the humanitarian situation there will particularly be discussed along with other regional issues where Iran is involved (Yemen, Libya, Iraq)”, the ministry added.
In an early March report, Reuters reported that European powers and Iran have started talks over Tehran’s role in the Middle East and will meet again this month in Italy as part of efforts to prove to US President Donald Trump that they are meeting his concerns over the 2015 nuclear deal.
However, Tehran denies conducting any negotiation on the country’s influence in the region with the Europeans.
With Trump warning of a last chance for “the worst deal ever negotiated”, UK, France, and Germany have been working with US officials to draw up a strategy to improve the Iran nuclear deal in return for Trump keeping the pact alive by renewing US sanctions relief on May 12.
Under the nuclear deal, Tehran agreed to restrict its nuclear program in return for the removal of sanctions that have crippled its economy.
However, Tehran says the nuclear deal hasn't fully benefited Iran due to the US approach to the nuclear pact. The leading European banks and companies appear reluctant to do business with Tehran due to concerns over running afoul of the US regulations.
US President Donald Trump has told the Europeans that they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” or he would re-impose the sanctions that Washington lifted as part of the pact.
Earlier in February, Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne urged Donald Trump to stick with the nuclear deal with Iran, where it has investments.
Following the removal of international sanctions, Total became the first major western company to ink an energy deal with Tehran to develop phase 11 of Iran’s South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion.