Total says it has halted petrol sales to Iran

28th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

French oil group Total said Monday it had halted shipments of oil products to Iran following adoption by the United States of economic sanctions against Teheran.

"We have suspended our sales of petrol (gasoline) and refined products to Iran," a company spokesman said, confirming an earlier report in the Financial Times.

Total did not reveal when the shipments had stopped nor the volume of the products affected.

But a source close to the company described the amounts as "marginal" and said the suspension had been in effect "for several weeks."

The two house of the US Congress last week adopted sanctions against Iran, which have yet to be promulgated by President Barack Obama.

The United States suspects Iran of developing its nuclear program for military purposes. Iran insists its nuclear program is civilian in nature.

The US measures, which complement those recently approved by the United Nations, are aimed at interrupting the supply of petrol to Iran.

The sanctions would prevent foreign companies from doing business with the US government if they had commercial ties to Iran.

Iran is the world's fourth largest crude oil producer but lacks refinery capacity and is heavily dependent on imports of petrol and refined products.

All the major oil companies still present in Iran, Total, Shell, Statoil or ENI, are in the process of gradually withdrawing from the country.

© 2010 AFP

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