Monday, July 19, 2010

Iran threatens to blacklist foreign oil firms

TEHRAN — Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi warned on Saturday that Iran will blacklist foreign firms like Russian energy giant Lukoil that pull out of projects because of sanctions against Tehran.

"If one of the companies acts against Iran, we will be forced to consider the reality and put that company on a blacklist," the Mehr news agency quoted Mirkazemi as saying.

"They will no longer work in our country," he said.

Mirkazemi singled out the case of Lukoil, which announced it was pulling out in March as new UN, US and EU sanctions over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme loomed.

The minister said the Russian firm had reneged on its commitments in the Anaran oilfield which it discovered in western Iran in 2005.

But he added that Iran might consider continuing to work with Lukoil "if we can adjust the content of the agreement."

Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to heed repeated Security Council ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment, the most controversial part of its nuclear programme.

Both the United States and the European Union have also imposed additional sanctions unilaterally.

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