U.S. gave $107 Billion in Contracts to Companies Doing Business with Iran

Monday, March 08, 2010
Iran's South Pars gas field (photo: epa)

Washington has not put its money where its mouth is when it comes to isolating Iran. Multiple presidential administrations have decried the policies of the Tehran government, especially its efforts to develop nuclear weapons, but the U.S. government has awarded at least $107 billion in contracts to foreign and American companies who did business with Iran.

According to a New York Times investigation, $15 billion was paid to businesses whose dealings with Iran were in defiance of American sanctions intended to limit investments in the country’s oil and gas reserves. For instance, Royal Dutch Shell signed an $800 million agreement in 1999 to develop two Iranian oil fields—a deal that did not stopthe oil giant from collecting $11 billion in contracts and grants from the U.S.
The New York Times uncovered 74 companies that have not suffered from selling products or services to Iran, including seven that may have violated the Iran Sanctions Act. These are Daelim, a major South Korean engineering and construction firm; ENI, an oil company partially owned by the Italian government; Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company; Repsol YPF, a Spanish-based oil firm; Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands; Statoil ASA of Norway; and Total of France.
The Times found that more than two-thirds of the government money went to companies doing business in Iran’s energy industry.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
U.S. Enriches Companies Defying Its Policy on Iran (by Jo Becker and Ron Nixon, New York Times)


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