Major European, Asian firms flee Iranian market in wake of U.S. sanctions: Report

David Adesnik
11th September 2018 - Quoted by Guy Taylor - Washington Times

Nearly three dozen major European and Asian companies are pulling their investments from Iran to avoid getting tangled up in reimposed U.S. sanctions, despite Tehran’s scramble to find loopholes for the companies and efforts by European governments to neutralize the impact of the new sanctions.

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The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) study claims that during the four months since President Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord, 31 European and Asian firms on Fortune magazine’s Global 500 list have announced they will be leaving the Iranian market or indicated their exit is imminent.

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According to the new FDD study, the list of Global 500 firms who’ve indicated plans to pull out of Iran includes France’s Total, Airbus, and PSA/Peugeot, Denmark’s Maersk, Germany’s Allianz and Siemens, Italy’s Eni, Japan’s Mazda and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and BP from the United Kingdom.

Renault, the only European member of the Global 500 that originally expressed an intention to resist American pressure, now says it is likely to suspend operations, citing the need to comply with U.S. sanctions, claimed the study, which was released Monday.

“We found that unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran remain extremely powerful even when European governments seek to neutralize their impact,” said FDD Director of Research and co-author David Adesnik. “If the U.S. administration’s goal is to convince Iran to end its nuclear program, stop sponsoring terrorism, and halt its support for the murderous Assad regime in Syria, then the administration should maintain its maximum pressure effort.”

However, the new FDD study indicated that uncertainty remains around the intentions of more than 100 companies who’ve invested in Iran in recent years. The think tank said it examined 232 companies and related entities, of which 67 are part of the Fortune Global 500 list of firms with the highest revenues.

“So far, 19 companies plan to stay, 71 to leave, and 142 have yet to make their intentions clear,” FDD said in a news release.

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Read the full article here.

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