European oil companies stop trade with Iran

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Monday, June 28, 2010

A gas station owned by French oil company Total S.A.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.

French oil company Total announced Monday that it has stopped shipping petroleum products to Iran, the latest Western oil company to stop or reduce trade with the country.

A spokesperson for Total, confirming an earlier report, said that the company "has suspended its sales of gasoline or refined products to Iran." Although Total didn't comment on specifics, an anonymous source said that the cessation of trade had minimal effect on Iran, and had begun several weeks ago.

In a separate development, a Spanish company, Repsol, said that it was no longer planning to take part in developing a large gas field in the southern part of Iran.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a news conference that he was unconcerned by the actions of Total and Repsol, saying that despite current limitations in the refining of oil, Iran would make up the disruption in its gasoline supply "within one week."

Total and Repsol's announcements come soon after a fourth round of sanctions against Iran were approved by the United Nations, and four days after the United States Congress approved a bill that would fine companies supplying Iran with oil, although that bill has not been signed into law.

Several other oil companies have ended their operations in Iran, or are in the process of doing so, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Statoil, and others.


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