Iran’s Projects with Foreign Firms Post-JCPOA
Siemens Has Been in Negotiations with Iran over an Order for
Track Technology and Intercity Trains Worth over 2 Billion Euros
Iran has signed a flurry of deals with Western companies over the past year
since the easing of international sanctions on Tehran after an accord (Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action) was reached over its nuclear program.
However, tensions between the United States and Iran are on the rise again
with the administration of President Donald Trump expected to impose fresh
sanctions on multiple Iranian entities on the pretext of Tehran’s recent
ballistic missile test.
According to Reuters, sources close to the matter say fresh sanctions will
not violate the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the West.
But they are expected to add caution to decision making by many Western
companies before they start investing money in Iran’s economy.
Iran needs foreign investment for repairs and upgrading of its oil and gas
fields. It also seeks the transfer of technology to its oil industry after a
decade of isolation.
Below is a list of deal and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Iran has
signed over the past year.
Oil And Gas
France’s Total became in November 2016 the first oil major to sign a
big deal with Tehran since the lifting of sanctions and agreed to help
it develop the world’s largest gas field, South Pars.
Shell signed a provisional deal in December to develop Iranian oil and
gas fields South Azadegan, Yadavaran and Kish in December. Chief
Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said however that Shell has no
near-term investment opportunities in Iran.
Iran has named 29 companies from more than a dozen countries as being
allowed to bid for oil and gas projects using the new, less restrictive
The firms include Shell, France’s Total, Italy’s Eni, Malaysia’s
Petronas and Russia’s Gazprom and Lukoil, as well as companies from
China, Austria, Japan and other countries.
Russia’s Zarubezhneft signed an MOU for a feasibility study on two
joint fields in the west of the country.
Norway’s International Aker Solutions Company signed an MoU to
modernize Iran’s oil industry.
Austria’s OMV signed in May an MoU for projects located in the Zagros
area in western Iran and the Fars field in the south.
South Korean Daewoo Engineering and Construction (Daewoo E&C) signed an
MoU to carry out construction of an oil refinery in Bandar Jask on the
southern coast of Iran.
Italy’s Saipem signed MoUs to cooperate on pipeline projects, upgrading
of refineries and development of Tous gas field in the northeastern
province of Khorasan Razavi.
Norwegian oil and gas company DNO was the second Western energy company
after Total to sign a deal with Iran under which it agreed to study the
development of the Changuleh oil field in western Iran.
Lukoil, Russia’s second biggest oil producer hopes to reach a decision
on developing two new oilfields in Iran.
Germany’s Siemens AG signed an MoU in May to overhaul equipment and
facilities at Iran’s oil operations and refineries.
BASF’s Wintershall oil and gas exploration subsidiary signed a
memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Iranian Oil Company
in April 2016.
Iran Air has ordered 100 aircraft from Airbus and the first plane has
already been delivered.
Boeing has a deal to sell 80 aircraft to Iran Air and plans to arrange
the lease of a further 29; the deal is not yet formally on the U.S.
manufacturer’s order book.
European turboprop maker ATR, half-owned by Airbus and Leonardo, has
provisionally agreed to sell 20 turboprop aircraft with options for a
French carmaker PSA Group was the Iranian market’s biggest foreign player
with nearly 30 percent of sales prior to its withdrawal in 2011 due to
In June 2016, PSA signed a 400 million euro production joint venture
renewing the Peugeot brand’s longstanding partnership with Iran Khodro to
build Peugeot 208, 2008 and 301 models for the domestic market and export,
starting in second half of 2017.
In October 2016, PSA finalized a new joint venture agreement with Citroen
brand’s historic partner SAIPA to invest 300 million euros in the production
of Citroen models at Iran’s Kashan plant, starting in 2018. It plans to open
150 dedicated Citroen outlets across Iran within five years.
German industrial group Siemens has ties with Iran going back to the 1867
Indo-European telegraph. It stopped doing new business in 2010 after being
slammed for selling equipment that was used to spy on dissidents but
maintains an office in Tehran. Recently, it has been in negotiations with
Iran over an order for track technology and intercity trains that could be
worth over 2 billion euros. It signed a contract to upgrade Iran’s railway
network in October.
Unconfirmed Iranian media reports last year said German chemicals giant BASF
was in talks with Iranian officials about investing in a
multi-billion-dollar petrochemical complex. BASF has declined to comment on
The company has said it welcomed the lifting of sanctions and was strictly
adhering to international rules and agreements. BASF has a sales office in
Iran and some polyurethane foams operations for finished products with
“currently very limited commercial activities”. It says it is observing the
situation very closely.
Major global banks have so far shied away from handling
Iranian-related business, citing the ongoing risk of violating continuing
U.S. sanctions. Among them is HSBC, which has said it has no intention of
doing any new business involving Iran.
The Central Bank of Iran said in June 2016 that a few small European banks
were among businesses that had links to the country, including Germany-based
Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG and some small Italian lenders.