Paris — Total has said it will not risk investing in Iran following the return of US sanctions, unless it can secure a waiver. Continuing to do business in Iran would be too great a risk as the company has large operations in the US and depends on the country’s banks for financing its operations, Total said in a statement on Wednesday. So the French energy giant won’t commit any more funds to Iran’s South Pars 11 project, in which it took a controlling stake last year. The comments from Total — the first Western oil company to sign binding agreements to develop Iran’s oil and gas fields following the end of a previous round of sanctions in 2015 — illustrate the challenge posed by renewed US restrictions. While the French company was speaking about a natural gas project, its reluctance to continue operating there could equally apply to others that rushed back into sectors from automobiles to aviation and engineering to the oil trade. "The risks of being on the wrong side of the US go...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now