General Electric is the latest international company to end its business with Iran, following US withdrawal from the July 2015 nuclear deal and the prospect of expanded American sanctions.
GE said it is planning to end sales of oil and gas equipment later this year in Iran, halting its ambitions after the deal for a stake in the Islamic Republic’s energy sector.
Last November, the US-based firm signed an agreement with Iran’s MAPNA Group for up to $150 million in bids for pipelines, compressors, and subsea equipment. Company officials said those plans have been all but abandoned in the way of Donald Trump’s May 8 announcement of American withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A small office in Tehran has been close and the company’s logo removed from the entrance.
Baker Hughes, an energy-equipment company bought by GE last year, has told Iranian merchants to make no deals for deliveries after November 4, the Trump Administration’s deadline for any companies with American links to end business with Iran.
“We are adapting our activities in Iran as necessary to conform with recent changes in US law,” a GE spokeswoman said. “GE’s activities in Iran to date have been limited and in compliance with US government rules, licenses and policies.”
GE and other firms had been allowed to work in Iran if they used foreign subsidiaries walled off from their US operations, with no American employees.
GE follows French energy giant Total, German industrial conglomerate Siemens, German insurer Allianz, and the shipping company Maersk in announcing suspension of projects. France’s Airbus — whose plan to deliver 100 passenger planes to Iran was already stalled because of existing restrictions on financial transactions — has said the January 2016 agreement is now in limbo.
Earlier this week Russia’s Lukoil and India’s refiner Reliance Industries also said they are halting their work with the Islamic Republic.