August 20, 2018 / 8:57 AM / a month ago

Iran says France's Total has officially left South Pars deal: TV

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran’s oil minister said on Monday that France’s Total has officially left Iran after the United States threatened to impose sanctions on companies that do business in the country, Iranian state TV reported.

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh arrives for an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

“The process to replace (Total) with another company is underway,” Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying, adding that Total was no longer working on its contract to develop phase 11 of the South Pars gas project.

The Oil Ministry’s website SHANA also quoted Zanganeh as saying that Total had announced its plans to leave more than two months ago.

Iranian officials had earlier suggested China’s state-owned CNPC could take over Total’s stake in the South Pars gas project, lifting its interest to more than 80 percent from 30 percent now.

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran after Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers. The agreement had imposed limits on Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Toby Chopra and Edmund Blair

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