Monday, June 28, 2010

Repsol quits Iran fearing US reprisal

Major Spanish oil firm Repsol has withdrawn from Iran's gas projects in response to unilateral anti-Iran US sanctions targeting the country's energy and financial sectors.

Spain's largest oil company pulled out of a contract it jointly won with Royal Dutch Shell. The contract was intended for the development of phases 13 and 14 of the South Pars gas field in Iran, Reuters reported on Monday.

The move comes after the US Congress once again voted for yet another set of unilateral sanctions against Iran's energy and banking sectors on Friday citing the Islamic Republic's refusal to halt its civilian nuclear program.

US legislators are widely believed to be heavily influenced by pro-Israeli political pressure groups that have declared Iran as their top target for pushing US policy against.

The bill will deny those firms that supply Iran with refined petroleum products access to US markets.

Repsol has extensive economic interests in off-shore US oil and gas fields of the Gulf of Mexico.

Iran had given an ultimatum to Repsol to promptly finalize its decision on whether it intends to stay or wants to pull out.

Shell, on the other hand, has declined to announce its final decision. It, however, said that it will comply with any international trade restriction levied on Iran.

Contrary to repeated US claims, Iran is a long-time signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has never possessed nuclear arms and has declared its fierce opposition to such weapons, calling for the comprehensive elimination of such weapons.

Even though the US possesses nuclear weapons and has used them in the past, Washington still demands the right to judge which countries should possess nuclear programs, based on its own political objectives.


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