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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

BP shutting off fuel to Iran Air?

Iranian media reported on Monday that Britain, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have all refused to refuel Iran Air jets. All four countries denied the report. While the latter two countries don't matter much - they are close enough that Iran Air could easily fly there and back on one tank - a refusal to refuel Iran Air jets in Germany and especially in Britain could effectively shut off direct flights from Tehran to those countries, which leads me to wonder why they haven't stopped providing jet fuel, and whether providing jet fuel is actionable under the new US sanctions that were passed last week (which would undoubtedly be waived by the Obama administration anyway).

But actually, there's more to it than that. It seems that our good friends at BP may be trying to do the right thing.
But a report in Tuesday's edition of the Financial Times Deutschland said oil giant BP had not renewed a contract to supply Iranian airlines with fuel after it had expired at the end of June.

"We won't comment on individual contracts with every airline," BP told the daily.

"But we respect, in all the countries where we operate, the local rules regarding sanctions."

Those of you who have been reading for a while may be wondering why I didn't put a photo of an Iran Air jet at the top of this post. The answer is that I have something much nicer to show you than a plane owned by the Ayatollahs.

Let's go to the videotape.

Chaval al d'avdan (it is a shame for what has been lost). (It's apparently from US television from the 1970's. I actually have a great Iran Air story from the mid-70's but no time to post it now).


Here's more on BP's refusal to refuel Iran Air jets in Europe.
BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) has instructed its European operations not to refuel Iranian airlines after U.S. President Barack Obama signed sanctions targeting Iran's gasoline supplies, people familiar with the matter said Monday.

The news about the U.K. oil giant comes after Iranian media said airports in the U.K., Germany and the United Arab Emirates had refused to offer fuel to Iranian passenger jets after the sanctions.

BP, which is facing U.S. pressure over a huge oil spill, sent faxes to its refueling operations in some European countries--including those owned with partners--around Friday, people familiar with the faxed document said.

The document ordered a ban on refueling for several Iranian airlines, including Iran Air, the people said. "It's due to a decision from the U.S. Congress," one person said.

A BP spokeswoman said, "we will comply with any international sanctions that are imposed" on Iran.

She said this applied to U.S. sanctions on gasoline and included refueling and operations where it has joint partners, but declined to comment further.

The company's air refueling arm, Air BP, operates in Europe's main markets, including the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain, according to its website.
Let's hope Obama doesn't tell BP he'll waive the sanctions.

Oh wait - BP is in Britain. Can Britain - a former ally of the US - be a 'cooperating country'? Decisions, decisions....


At 11:47 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

If every one country does the same, the effect will be to isolate Iran from the world. Iran doesn't care who lands in Iran. It does care whether it can land in Western airports.

Its a small step in the right direction... if sanctions are actually enforced across the board.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Hatfield said...

That's a great phrase, Britain, a former ally of the US. So true.


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