ExxonMobil has rejected as “inaccurate” media reports that it is lobbying the US government on Iran sanctions .
“ExxonMobil is not lobbying on Iran sanctions,” said Ken Cohen, vice president of Public and Government Affairs, in an announcement.
“Erroneous media reports resulted from errors in a consultant’s lobbying disclosures. Current US law prohibits American companies from operating in Iran,” read the statement that was posted on The Maritime Executive news website.
Iran is currently negotiating with the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – over a final agreement regarding the Iranian nuclear energy program. The agreement that has a deadline of June 30 could lead to the removal of certain economic sanctions against Iran – the most important of which will be some sanctions that bar foreign investments in the country’s oil and gas projects.
The announcement from ExxonMobil follows a media report stating the company is ramping up efforts to track US government work on Iranian sanctions.
The report goes on to balance any claims relating to lobbying by reporting: “We are not lobbying on Iran sanctions,” Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman, said during a telephone interview on Thursday. “We are monitoring activities related to Iran in the US government.”
Similar news was covered by several media outlets.
Iran’s top officials said earlier that the country’s oil and gas is open to American investment but US companies have to tie up with Iranian companies under certain terms.
Iran’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum Amir Hossein Zamaninia told the media last month that from the government’s standpoint, there is no limitation for oil investment by the Americans in Iran.
Zamaninia said several US companies have already voiced interest to invest in Iran’s oil projects “once the sanctions are removed”.
American companies are banned from any business in Iran under current US government laws but they have always watched trade opportunities in the Middle Eastern country with great enthusiasm.
Before the tightening of sanctions, US companies were indirectly trading with Iran through subsidiaries.
Source: Press TV