File photo showing Shah Deniz gas field
Source: Press TV
BP Plc, UK, and EU have reportedly convinced US lawmakers to exempt a BP-led project from the newly- proposed Washington sanctions on Iran.
This is a clear indication that the West is pushing for stricter embargoes on Tehran without harming its own economy.
US senators have discussed provisions that could bar companies like BP from working with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Reuters quoted one congressional aide as saying on Monday.
The project, known as Shah Deniz, is a USD20 billion enterprise in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan, in which the Iranian state-owned oil company Naftiran Intertrade Co., an NIOC subsidiary, holds a 10% stake.
On New Year's Eve, US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh unilateral economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution. The bill ultimately takes aim at Iran's oil revenue.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to impose four rounds of sanctions and a series of unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has a right to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.