Iran’s oil company has pulled out of a $5 billion deal to develop part of Iran’s huge offshore natural gas field, an agreement the French government earlier withdrew because of US sanctions on Iran, the Oil Ministry said on Sunday.
The deal with France, signed in the wake of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be only a final trade loss in the US pressure on Tehran following US President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal.
With the escalation of the special trade war between China and the United States, Beijing and Washington impose tariffs on other country’s goods in the billions of dollars. The Chinese National News Agency quoted the Chinese oil minister as saying on Sunday that the Chinese oil company is no longer part of the project, and did not put or give any reason for the withdrawal.
Officials in Beijing did not immediately acknowledge their decision. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday separately complained about the US campaign against Tehran and its impact on foreign investment. “We have been facing plenty of problems in the field of investment because of the US maximum pressure policy.”
After withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Tehran more than a year ago, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran that prevented it from selling its oil abroad and paralyzed its economy. Iran has since broken the terms of the deal.
There have been a series of attacks across the Middle East as the United States blames Iran. Tensions peaked on September 14 with a missile and drone attack on the world’s largest oil processor in Saudi Arabia and an oilfield, pushing oil prices to their highest price since the 1991 Gulf War. Yemen attack, Saudi Arabia says it was “undoubtedly sponsored by Iran.”
Iran denies responsibility and has warned that any retaliatory attack against it would lead to a “all-out war.”