Thursday, May 11, 2006

French oil company TOTAL will only leave Iran if sanctions are imposed on the Islamic regime

Iran Press News: Translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi.
The regime-run news agency ILNA reported that Fabiani, a senior executive of French oil company Total said that as one of the world's top 4 largest oil companies it has gained extensive profits in Iran. Referring to the considerable extent of oil and gas resources in Iran, Fabiani stated: "Total’s partnership with the Islamic regime is a hugely lucrative sources of income; it has gleaned multi-billion dollar profits for this company." Concerning the more difficult conditions of asset investment in Iran, Fabiani added: "Currently asset investment in Iran is not so easy and high risk banking in contract with Iranian partners is one of the reasons. Iran's special stance on the international arena is also among other difficult factors."

Regarding possible sanctions on the Islamic regime and its impact on the activity of the company in Iran, the Total representative added: "There is an absolute possibility that sanctions would be imposed on Iran." Fabiani clarified that Total would definitely respect the rules of sanctions and would abide by the investment instructions imposed by the United Nations security council."

According to Canadian journalist Marinka Peschman who has been covering the oil-for-food scandal: “Total International was awarded 10 out of 13 possible contracts during oil-for-food. According to Paul Volcker’s report Total earned over $1.7 billion in oil revenue making the firm the 5th largest recipient of Iraqi oil deals during oil-for-food. In November 2005, two executives working for Europe’s Total Group admitted that they had paid bribes on Iraqi oil contracts during the program. Further, Volcker’s report revealed that a former Total ‘consultant’ Elias Firzli, paid at least three oil surcharges to Iraq, tallying nearly US$1.5 million, violating French law and UN sanctions.”

Also recently a French investigative judge has launched an investigation into charges of Total bribing the Rafsanjani family over the years in order to land the best possible contracts. Quoting the French newspaper, Le Canard Enchaine, this investigation is being conducted at the behest of Swiss authorities in connection to money laundering in Switzerland. Swiss authorities are following sources that have deposited huge sums of money into several bank accounts that belong to the Rafsanjani family. READ MORE

Sources investigating the case have indicated that the French oil company TOTAL, has bribed certain authorities of the Islamic regime, including the Rafsanjani family in order to obtain the most lucrative oil contracts. The sources added that it is quite likely that Total did in fact deposit these sums to the Swiss bank accounts of the Rafsanjanis.
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