On Monday evening, 27 September, the Guardian newspaper published an article revealing that Shell was still trading with the outlaw Iranian regime.
Shell is not accused of acting illegally because the sanctions enforced by the US, UN and EU stopped short of banning the import of Iranian oil. But its trades with the state-owned oil company, a major contributor to the finances of a government which has made its nuclear programme a priority, are likely to expose Shell to growing political pressure.
Shell would not comment on the trades but insisted it is doing nothing illegal. We do not comment on our trading activities but would underline that we continue to comply with all legislation, a spokesman said.
The story was picked up the following day by several news organizations including CBS News and Reuters, which reported: “No immediate comment was available from the Foreign Office, while Shell was not immediately reachable.”
Apparently no one could obtain any worthwhile comment from Shell, which did not deny that it was still trading with Iran.
Later that same day, we published an article Shell Iran controversy: internal emails reveal panic at Shell. The emails involved past high level consultations in the USA and The Hague.
On Wednesday Shell announced plans to to invest “$40 billion in the Americas through 2014 to boost production by 40 percent.”
By coincidence or otherwise, the US Department of State was able to issued a statement yesterday on the subject announcing that Royal Dutch Shell has capitulated.
French oil group Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Kuwaits Independent Petroleum Group, and Indias Reliance have all informed the State Department that they stopped refined product sales to Iran earlier this year.
BP and Shell have told the State Department they are no longer supplying jet fuel to Iran Air.
Shell, Total, ENI and Statoil have all ended or are in the process of terminating their activities in Iran and have all committed not to engage in any new activities there.
Shell and Repsol have abandoned negotiations over development of phases 13 and 14 of the South Pars gas field and have committed to us not to engage in any further discussions with Iran.
At the beginning on this week, Royal Dutch Shell was still trading with the enemy. By the end of the week the white flag was raised and the Shell internal emails we supplied to news organisations were no longer news worthy.