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Total's Iran Halt Shows Oil Buyers Will Face Sanctions Trouble

Francois De Beaupuy
Total's Iran Halt Shows Oil Buyers Will Face Sanctions Trouble

Total SA’s decision to stop investing in Iran shows that international companies are going to have trouble doing any business with the Persian Gulf nation, including buying its oil. Continuing to do business in Iran would be too great a risk as Total has large operations in the U.S. and depends on the country’s banks for financing, it said in a statement Wednesday. The comments from Total -- the first Western oil company to sign binding agreements to develop Iran’s oil and gas fields following the end of a previous round of sanctions in 2015 -- illustrate the challenge posed by renewed American restrictions.