Iran General NewsRPT-India's Essar reviewing US laws on Iran investment

RPT-India’s Essar reviewing US laws on Iran investment

-

Reuters: India’s Essar Group is reviewing its legal position on investing in Iran’s energy sector to see if it is violating U.S. sanctions on Tehran after a U.S. governor challenged a proposed refinery deal, the company said on Tuesday. NEW DEHLI, Nov 6 (Reuters) – India’s Essar Group is reviewing its legal position on investing in Iran’s energy sector to see if it is violating U.S. sanctions on Tehran after a U.S. governor challenged a proposed refinery deal, the company said on Tuesday.

Last week Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said that Essar, which recently bought a steel company in his state, had promised to abide by U.S. law and that it was backing away from developing a multi-billion dollar oil refinery in Iran.

U.S. companies are prohibited by law from working in Iran and long-standing sanctions allow Washington it to punish foreign companies that invest more than $20 million in the OPEC member’s energy sector, although this is rarely put into practice.

Total SA, ENI and Royal Dutch Shell have had major investments there, although Tehran’s most recent deals have been with big state-owned oil companies in Asia.

“We are present in the U.S. Whether that presence in (the) U.S. prevents us from investing in the energy sector in Iran under the sanctions act, we are examining (the) legal position on this,” Raj K. Varma, the company’s chief executive for business development oil and gas, told Reuters.

Essar and Iran had agreed in late-October to start building an $8 billion, 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in southern Iran early next year, the first foreign-owned downstream investment there, company officials told Reuters in October.

That news came just two days after privately held Essar — a conglomerate with interests from telecoms to construction — sealed its deal to buy Minnesota Steel LLC for $1.65 billion.

In late October, Washington tightened its long-standing sanctions on Iran in a fresh attempt to pressure the Islamic Republic to cease its uranium-enrichment programme that could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

Industry officials say Western sanctions and the rising political tension has made investment more difficult in Iran, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned Total against pursuing a major liquefied natural gas deal there.

But many oil companies, particularly those in Asia less susceptible to Western pressure, are keen to help Tehran boost output from the world’s second-largest oil and gas reserves.

Last year Iran launched a five-year plan to expand and upgrade its refineries to 3.0 million bpd from 1.6 million bpd, aiming to end its reliance on imported gasoline. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma, writing by Luke Pachymuthu in Singapore, editing by Jonathan Leff and Ramthan Hussain)

Latest news

The Latest Status of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Complexity does not describe the current state of Iran's nuclear program; The situation has become much more complicated, and...

Iran’s People Do Not Buy the Regime’s Economic Promises

Right before Ebrahim Raisi, the Iran regime’s president took the office, he and his economic team introduced a 7000-page...

Protests Continue in Iran With “Death to…” Slogans

During the nomination of his cabinet in the Parliament last year, President Ebrahim Raisi spoke about his priority...

Iran: Instances of Systematic Corruption

—Three board members of the Iran Commerce Chamber have paid a 28-billion-rial down payment and 1.94-billion-rial rent of their...

Truth on the Spread of Addiction in Iran and Regime’s Goals

A citizen from Shiraz, who was a victim of the Iranian regime’s criminal policy, has spoken up about the...

Bank Robbery at Tehran’s Most Secure Zone in Bright Daylight

— “Professional robbers stole more than 160 safe boxes” at a branch of the Bank Melli, authorities say. — The...

Must read

Car Buyers Hold Protest in Iran Capital

By Pooya Stone On Wednesday morning, August 7, buyers...

Syria, Iran to run for U.N. Human Rights Council: envoys

Reuters: Syria and Iran are planning to run for...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you