By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Ali Sheikholeslami – Sep 30, 2010 6:30 PM GMT+0100
Total SA of France, Statoil ASA of Norway, Italys Eni SpA and the Netherlands Royal Dutch Shell Plc have pledged to end their investments in Irans energy sector, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said.
Steinberg said the pledge means the companies are eligible to avoid U.S. sanctions. These companies have provided assurances they will stop or are taking significant verifiable steps to stop their activity in Iran and have provided assurances not to undertake new energy-related activities in Iran that may be sanctionable, he told reporters in Washington.
The U.S. also announced that it is imposing sanctions on an Iranian energy-trading company operating in Switzerland. The action was taken against Lausanne-based Naftiran Intertrade Co., also known as Nico. The company is involved in the trading of oil and refined products and seeks to invest in energy projects, according to its website.