Twenty Four Most-Active Iranian International Business Partners

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Hundreds of companies do business with Iran with American and European investment dollars / Euros and, based upon publicly available information, the following are among the most active of the Tehran regime’s international business partners:



 Alcatel SA:  French telecommunications giant Alcatel, has signed numerous multi-million dollar contracts deals with
Iran as well as Sudan over the past five years. Alcatel supplies Iran with most of its telecommunications facilities, high-speed Internet service and communication devices and infrastructure for offshore oil and gas platforms. [16]

 Bow Valley Energy Ltd.: Canada’s Bow Valley Energy holds 15 percent of a $300 million deal with Iran to develop the Balal field off the Persian Gulf since 1999. [17]

 BNP Paribas: BNP Paribas is the only French bank to have remained in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. BNP Paribas mainly focuses on trade finance with Iran’s oil and gas industry which is controlled by the regime’s clerical elite and feared Revolutionary Guards Corp. [18]

 China National Petroleum Corp.: China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has announced it will invest $3.6 billion dollars to develop Block 14 of Iran’s South Pars gas field this year. CNPC is currently negotiating a $16 billion deal with Iran to develop its North Pars gas field and build liquefied natural gas infrastructures.  [19]

 ENI Spa: Italy’s biggest energy company, Eni Spa has numerous oil and gas contracts with Iran. In 2001, Eni Spa signed a $900 million contract to develop Iran’s‘ southwest Dharkovin oil field. The company holds large stakes in multiple Iranian energy projects including a South Pars contract valued at almost $4 billion. [20]

 Gazprom: Russian energy giant Gazprom has been heavily involved in developing the South Pars gas field, estimated to contain 7 percent of the world‘ reserves, since 1997. In 2006 Gazprom announced it would consider setting up joint oil and gas projects with Iran’s state energy companies. [21]

 Hyundai: South Korea’s Hyundai supports Iran by supplying it with energy-related construction and development help, manufacturing components and ship maintenance. Among its other mega-deals with Iran, Hyundai recently signed a $1 billion contract along with Daewoo to build oil tankers for the regime. [22]

 INPEX: The Japanese market accounts for 22 percent of Iran’s oil exports which account for 85 percent of Japan’s total oil imports. The Tokyo-based INPEX, which is part-owned by the Japanese government, has billions of dollars invested in many Iranian oil projects including the Soroosh, Nowrooz and Azadegan oil fields. [23]

 LG Engineering and Construction Co.: In 2002, South Korea’s LG Engineering and Construction Co. signed a $1.6 billion deal for a gas processing plant project in the South Pars gas fields.  The company has a 45.3 stake in the deal that allows it to claim $700 million of the total project cost. [24]

 Lukoil: Russia’s Lukoil collaborates with the National Iranian Oil Company on various exploration projects. Lukoil holds large stakes in oil projects in Anaran, Moghan, Western Changuleh and other areas in Iran. In 2000, Lukoil acquired Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. and has gas stations across the United States.  [25]

 Norsk Hydro: Norsk Hydro is Norway’s second largest energy company and is partially owned by the Norwegian government. Norsk Hydro has massive investments in Iranian oil projects including a $107 million contract signed with Iran last year. [26]

 OMV: Austria’s OMV is central Europe’s leading energy company. It has several oil exploration investments in Iran’s Mehr block. In addition, OMV is the driving force behind the Nabucco pipeline project which will transport gas from Iran’s Caspian Sea directly to Europe when completed in 2011. The other companies involved in the project are: Botas (Turkey), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria), MOL (Hungary) and Transgaz (Romania). [27]

 ONGC: India’s Oil and Natural gas Company (ONGC) signed a $40 billion deal with Iran in 2005 to import millions of tons of liquid gas. ONGC is involved in many lucrative exploration projects in Iran and is on the verge of signing a deal in the South Pars oilfields valued at over $100 million. [28]

 Petrobras: The Brazilian government control 60 percent of the Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras Oil Company and has a final say in its investment decisions. Petrobras intends to sign a $ 470 million contract with Iran in mid-2007. Earlier contracts with Iran included a 2004 deal worth $34 million to drill in the Caspian Sea. [29]

 Petronas: Malaysia’s Petronas enjoys lucrative business with Iran. Among other deals Petronas signed a $2 billion contract, along with Total and Gazprom, to develop Iran’s South Pars gas fields.  [30]

 Royal Dutch Shell: In 1999, The Dutch-British energy giant, Royal Dutch Shell spent over $800 to develop two Iranian offshore oil fields.  Royal Dutch Shell together with Spain’s Repsol recently signed an agreement that could result in a $10 billion contract to develop sections 13 and 14 of Iran’s South Pars gas field. [31]

 Siemens AG: Siemens AG helped build Iran’s nuclear reactor in Bushehr but officially stopped working on the site after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Siemens AG is currently active in Iranian telecommunications, high-tech, automotive and power industries. Siemens also trades with other rogue states including Sudan and Syria. [32]

 Statoil ASA: Norway’s biggest oil and gas company Statoil ASA has multiple high profile investments in Iran. Most of its efforts are concentrated in the South Pars gas field where it holds high percentages in various exploration and development projects. Norway prosecuted Statoil in 2004 when the company was convicted on corruption charges for trying to sway Iranian officials, including former President Hashemi Rafsanjani’s son, in a $15.2 million deal in 2002. [33]

 Stolt-Nielsen SA: UK-based Stolt-Nielsen SA is one of the world’s top liquid transporters, the company does business with Iran through its subsidiary Stolt-Offshore. The US Treasury began investigating the company in 2002 for trading with Iran and falsifying documents. In 2006 Stolt-Nielsen was indicted for price fixing and rigging bids. [34]  

Technip Coflexip: French based Technip Coflexip builds much of Iran’s petrochemical engineering plants and provides other technical infrastructure related to the regime’s oil and gas industry. Among its many lucrative deals with Iran, Technip Coflexip built a massive ‘steam cracker‘ petrochemical plant in the Persian Gulf for $186 million. [35]

 Total SA: The giant French energy company Total SA has been active in Iran since 1995. Total has multiple oil exploration and development contracts with the regime including a 2006 deal valued at $1.6 billion. Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie and two of the company’s chief executives are currently under investigation by the French authorities over corruption allegations linked to a 1997 gas project in Iran and the Iraqi oil-for-food program. [36]

 In addition, the following companies are reportedly in the process of negotiating deals with Iran:

 Essar Oil: India’s Essar Oil reached a deal with Iran in 2006 for oil and gas exploration and production as well as contracts to build the regime steel plants, power plants, and an oil refinery. The deal, worth billions of dollars, is still waiting approval as both sides continue to negotiate. [37]

 China National Offshore Oil Corp: China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran in 2006 to develop the Northern Pars gas field and build liquefied natural gas installations. The two sides are expected to sign the $16 billion deal by the end of 2007. [38]  

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp: In 2004, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) won a bid to buy 10 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas every year for 25 years, but the contract hasn’t been signed yet. The deal is estimated to be worth about $100 million when approved. In 2006, Sinopec signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran to develop the Garmsar block. The deal, that has so far not been implemented, is valued between $20-38 million. [39]  



[16] Cornwell, Susan and Pelofsky, Jeremy, „Senators cast wary eye on Lucent-Alcatel deal,“ The Boston Globe, April 4, 2006

  Alcatel SA website

[17] „Calgary Oil company may face US sanctions,“ CBC News, April 5, 1999

[18] „Iran Lures BNP, HSBC for Loans; U.S. Banks Barred,“ Bloomberg, December 23, 2004,

[19] „US Cautions China over reported multibillion gas deal with Iran,“ International Herald Tribune, January 9, 2007

„China’s CNPC Close to MoU on $3.6B Iran LNG project,“, January 12, 2007

[20] „Italian oil deal with Iran,“ The New York Times, July 1, 2001

  „Iran signs major gulf gas deal,“ BBC, July 27, 2000

[21] Gazprom website

„Gazprom, Iran mull joint oil and gas projects,“ RIA Novosti, June 26, 2006

 [22] „Hyundai, Daewoo to share $1 billion Iran Tanker order,“ Bloomberg, May 9, 2005

  „Hyundai motor says wins $227 million Iran car order,“ Reuters, September 3, 2006

[23] INPEX Website

  Linzer, Dafna and Faiola, Anthony, „Japan wary of plan for sanctions against Iran,“ The Washington Post, June 13, 2006,

[24] „$1.6bln gas deal,“ Pravda, September 16, 2002,

[25] „Lukoil and Hydro Confirm Oil Discovery in Western Iran,“, May 17, 2005,

„Lukoil seeks to join Iran in Caspian oilfields,“ Reuters via Yahoo News, October 23, 2005,

  Getty Petrolium Website

[26] „Iran Signs $107M E&D Oil Contract with Norwegian Oil Co,“, September 18, 2006

  Norsk Hydro Website

[27] „OMV in Iran: Memorandum of understanding on increased co-operation,“ , January, 27, 2004

  Nabucco Website

[28] ONGC Website

  „India and Iran in gas export deal, BBC, January 7, 2005

[29] Radowitz, Bernd, „Petrobras to Invest $470M in Iran’s Caspian Sea,“ Dow Jones Newswires via, March 6, 2007

  Daraghi, Borzou, „Middle East: Iran: Petrobras to drill In Caspian,“ The New York Times, July 7, 2004

[30] Iran forms joint LNG firm with Total and Petronas,“ Reuters via Forbes, February 25, 2004

  Richardson, Michael, „Malaysia’s State Oil Company Is Going Global: Petronas Expands Its Reach,“ International Herald Tribune, August 22, 1996

[31] Bohlen, Celestine, „Shell, Repsol, Total, Defy U.S. to Seek Iran Deals,“ Bloomberg, February 23, 2007

  „Shell secures Iranian oil deal,“ BBC, November 14, 1999,

[32] Heath, Michael and Meyer Henry, „Russia Denies Ultimatum to Iran over Nuclear Fuel,“ Bloomberg, March 20, 2007

  „Iran signs 450 million dollar deal with Germany’s Siemens,“ Islamic Republic News Agency, November 14, 2006

  Siemens AG website

[33] „US resolves probe against oil company that bribed Iranian official,“ US Department of Justice, October 3, 2006

  Timmons, Heather, „Norway: oil contract investigation,“ The New York Times, September 13, 2003

[34] „Treasury department probes shipping company,“ The Associated Press via Fox News, November 22, 2002,2933,71232,00.html

 Stolt-Nielsen indicted for tanker shipping price fixing,“ The Associated Press via International Herald Tribune, September 6, 2006

[35] Gertz, Bill, „French firm probed in move of pumps to Iran,“ The Washington Times,

  „NPC to build world’s largest steam cracker in Iran,“ , October 15, 2002

[36] Sethuraman, Dinakar, „Iran May Extend Investment Deadline for Total in LNG Project,“ Bloomberg, April 9, 2007

  Souchard, Pierre-Antoine, „Total’s CEO Quizzed in Iran Probe,“ The Associated Press via Yahoo News, March 21, 2007

[37] Essar Oil Website

  „Essar, Iran in Talks to Develop Azadegan,“ The Tehran Times via, March 16, 2007

[38] Jones, Sally „Iran and China’s CNOOC Sign $16 Billion Gas Deal,“ Dow Jones Newswires via December 20, 2006

  „Iran, China in Talks Over North Pars Gas Field,“, January 11, 2006  
[39] Goodman, Peter, „China Rushes toward Oil Pact with Iran,“ The Washington Post, February 18, 2006

 China’s Sinopec signs a deal to develop oil block in Iran – report,“ AFX via Forbes, June 20, 2006

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