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2018-05-18 09:05:00

NO IRAN SANCTIONS

NO IRAN SANCTIONS

REUTERSFrench President Emmanuel Macron ruled out on Thursday any trade war with the United States over its withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal as a wave of European companies quit business with Tehran, fearing the global reach of U.S. sanctions.

European Union leaders united behind the 2015 accord, and Brussels announced it would launch a legal process banning EU-based firms from complying with the sanctions that President Donald Trump has reimposed on Iran.

However, corporations face the choice of trading with the biggest economy in the world, the United States, or with Iran, risking sanctions and massive fines as well as losing access to the dominant U.S. financial system.

Even the European Commission's financial services chief said that using EU powers to ban banks from following the sanctions that Trump announced on May 8 would be of limited use, given the global reach of finance.

Macron acknowledged the predicament of firms wanting to trade with Iran or invest there, especially multinationals with close business ties to the United States. But he made clear bigger matters were at stake.

"We won't start a strategic trade war against the U.S. about Iran," he said on arriving for a second day of a European Union summit in Bulgaria. "We're not going to take counter-sanctions against U.S. companies, it wouldn't make sense."

French energy group Total said on Wednesday it might quit a multi-billion-dollar gas project in Iran unless it secured a waiver from the sanctions. Tehran had repeatedly hailed the project as a symbol of the nuclear accord's success.

"The French president is not the CEO of Total," Macron said. "My priority is not trade or finance in Iran. It's geopolitics, avoiding escalation, doing everything to open up Iran's economy and society."

The EU wants to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, which lifted most of the international sanctions that have badly hurt the Iranian economy in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

But while Europe sees the pact as vital for international security, Trump denounced it as "the worst deal ever" for failing to curb Iran's separate ballistic missile program and its influence in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

EU officials say there is no easy way to protect EU firms and banks from the U.S. sanctions that Trump has reimposed and some big names are already heading for the door.

As Macron spoke in Sofia, the world's largest container shipping firm, A.P. Moller-Maersk, said it would quit Iran.

BRAVE FACE

Still, EU leaders put on a brave face, sticking by the Iran accord despite their weak hand in defying the will of the country that issues the dollar, the dominant currency of international trade.

"All European Union member states are still backing this agreement, despite the fact the United States has decided not to, and we will continue talks with the United States," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters at the EU summit.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU executive would launch on Friday the process of activating a "blocking statute" - legislation banning EU companies from complying with U.S. sanctions on Iran and which does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

But the EU will have to swim against a strong tide. Soren Skou, chief executive of Danish-based A.P. Moller-Maersk, said his firm would have to accept the sanctions.

"With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the U.S., and we have that on a large scale," Skou told Reuters. "I don't know the exact timing details, but I am certain that we're also going to shut down."

Europe's "blocking statute" has never been used until now and its rules are vague and difficult to enforce.

"The EU blocking regulation could be of limited effectiveness there, given the international nature of banking system and especially the exposure of large systemic banks to U.S. financial system and U.S. dollar transactions," financial services commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told the European Parliament.

Italian steel manufacturer Danieli announced it has halted work on finding financial coverage for orders it won in Iran worth 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

"With the withdrawal of the U.S. from the treaty the banks are no longer ready to fund Iranian projects for fear of secondary sanctions," Danieli CEO Alessandro Trivillin said.

Finnish mining technology company Outotec said U.S. sanctions would slow down and complicate its ties with Iran but it was too early to say if it would leave.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran would remain committed to the deal, which China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany also signed, provided those powers ensured Iran was protected from sanctions.

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Earlier:

 

 Iran Sanctions
2018, May, 14, 11:35:00

GLOBAL IRAN SANCTIONS

PLATTS - Trump's plan to leave the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions could have major impacts for global oil, natural gas, metals and petrochemical markets.

 Iran Sanctions
2018, May, 14, 11:25:00

IRAN IMPLEMENTS COMMITMENTS

IAEA - As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented by Iran.

 

 Iran Sanctions
2018, May, 10, 13:25:00

U.S. - IRAN SANCTIONS ALWAYS

U.S. DT - President Donald J. Trump announced his decision to cease the United States’ participation in the JCPOA and begin reimposing U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on the Iranian regime. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is taking immediate action to implement the President’s decision. Sanctions will be reimposed subject to certain 90 day and 180 day wind-down periods. At the conclusion of the wind-down periods, the applicable sanctions will come back into full effect.

 Iran Sanctions
2018, March, 7, 14:35:00

IRAN IS IMPLEMENTING

IAEA - Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the Agency’s 35-member Board of Governors on Monday.

 Iran Sanctions
2018, January, 17, 23:30:00

STABLE IRANIAN OIL

PLATTS - Trading sources from Asia, which remains the premier destination of Iranian oil, told that even if US sanctions returned, crude oil inflows from Iran would be stable.

 Iran Sanctions
2018, January, 15, 09:50:00

OIL PRICES & IRAN SANCTIONS

PLATTS - On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that Trump would likely announce the decision in the afternoon in Washington. If that deal unravels, 800,000 b/d of Iranian crude exports would be at risk, according to analysts.

 Iran Sanctions
2018, January, 8, 19:25:00

U.S. - IRAN SANCTIONS

U.S.DT - "These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran's ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people. As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime's malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses. We will not hesitate to call out the regime's economic mismanagement, and diversion of significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry."

 

Tags: USA, IRAN, SANCTIONS

Chronicle:

NO IRAN SANCTIONS
2018, June, 20, 12:45:00

NORWAY'S OIL PRODUCTION 1.629 MBD DOWN 236 TBD

NPD - Preliminary production figures for May 2018 show an average daily production of 1 629 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is a decrease of 236 000 barrels per day compared to April.

NO IRAN SANCTIONS
2018, June, 20, 12:40:00

LIBYA'S OIL PRODUCTION DOWN 400 TBD

PLATTS - Libyan crude production has fallen around 400,000 b/d -- or nearly halved -- due to militia attacks on the eastern oil terminals of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, the head of the country?s National Oil Corp. said Tuesday.

NO IRAN SANCTIONS
2018, June, 20, 12:35:00

VENEZUELA'S OIL PRODUCTION DOWN

PLATTS - Venezuela's crude output averaged 1.36 million b/d in May, down from 1.41 million b/d in April, and 1.9 million b/d in May 2017, according to S&P Global Platts. The International Energy Agency said it could fall to 800,000 b/d or even lower next year.

NO IRAN SANCTIONS
2018, June, 20, 12:30:00

NIGERIAN OIL SALES

PLATTS - Nigerian oil has been slow to sell this month as bidders for the country's July-loading heavy and light sweet crudes have been absent from the market. Market participants pegged the amount of unsold Nigerian barrels loading in July at 20 million-34 million barrels, amounting to roughly 40%-75% of what is produced in a month.

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