MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Rainer Seele, the CEO of the Austrian energy giant OMV, said on Wednesday that the company has put on pause its projects in Iran as the consequences of the US sanctions against Tehran could pose risks to the OMV.
“We don’t implement any further projects in Iran, we don’t have projects in Iran, everything was put on pause. Recent events show that companies that will take risk to work in Iran are not fully protected. European companies, despite the measures taken, don’t believe in sufficient protection at the political level, as they are at risk on financial and capital markets. Iran is currently not on the map for OMV,” Seele said during a press conference.
On November 5, the second package of US sanction against Tehran came into effect following the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the Iran nuclear deal — in May. The sanctions are aimed at exercising maximum pressure on Iran and force it to negotiate a new deal.
As part of its campaign, the United States wants all countries to eventually reduce to zero their oil imports from Iran, delivering a hard blow to Iran’s economy.
To protect businesses investing in Iran from US sanctions, Europe has developed an updated version of the Blocking Statute which bans European companies from complying with the US measures against Iran.
READ MORE: EU Has to Fine-Tune New Payment Mechanism to Trade With Iran Under US Sanctions
At the same time, China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, the other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, slammed Washington’s withdrawal from the agreement and the reinstatement of sanctions that threaten not only Iran itself but also countries and companies that continue to do business with Iran. In this context, the remaining JCPOA signatories agreed that a special mechanism would be established to facilitate trade between companies and Iran amid the US sanctions.