Oil Firm Sees Congressional Vote on Iran Deal as Potential Positive

Total CEO Hopes for 'Clarification' of US Stance

President Trump sees his decertification of the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran as part of a broad increase in US hostility toward the country. The decertification obliges Congress to vote on the deal, however, and that might have a silver lining.

Iran’s South Pars field

That’s the hope of Total S.A. CEO Patrick Pouyanne. His company is trying to make a $5 billion deal to improve South Pars gas field with Iran, and he believes it is both likely that the Senate will vote to save the deal, and that the vote would provide clarification on America’s participation.

That’s been a problem for Total and other European companies trying to make deals in Iran, as the US has repeatedly pressured European banks to block the trade deals, even though they are legal under the nuclear deal.

Under the terms of the deal, the US is obliged to let such deals happen, and both Iran and EU officials have suggested this amounts to the US “violating” the terms of the deal. If Congress upholds the pact, it may be difficult for the Treasury Department to justify continuing this policy. Even if they do, it may convince European banks that the administration’s threats don’t represent US policy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.