How Companies Around the World are Reversing Course on Iran Business

August 7, 2018

Publication Type: 

  • Policy Briefs

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

On May 8, 2018, President Donald J. Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Iran. Effective immediately, U.S. nuclear sanctions on Iran were reinstated and the President warned that "any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States."

Resources Related to the U.S. Withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

In a briefing on the same day, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the President's announcement is effectively "reinstituting all of the nuclear-related sanctions that were waived" as part of the JPCOA, and that "any new or prospective contract" in a proscribed sector would now be "forbidden."

According to guidance published by the Treasury Department, sanctions waivers would be issued during a wind-down period of 90 or 180 days to allow for existing contracts to be closed.

In order to avoid exposure to U.S. secondary sanctions, foreign firms were "advised to use these time periods to wind-down their activities with or involving Iran that will become sanctionable at the end of the applicable wind-down period."

August 6, 2018 marks the conclusion of the first 90-day wind-down period. Authorizations related to the import of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs and the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran were revoked. President Trump issued a new Executive Order reimposing sanctions related to Iran following the wind-down periods.

Effective August 7, 2018, secondary sanctions related to the purchase or acquisition of U.S. dollar banknotes by the Iranian government, trade with Iran in gold or precious metals, trade or transfers to or from Iran of certain metals, significant transactions involving the Iranian rial, the purchase of Iranian debt, and support of Iran's automotive sector will return.

On November 4, 2018, authorizations that previously permitted foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to engage in certain business with Iran will be revoked.

Effective November 5, 2018, secondary sanctions related to Iran’s port and shipping sector, petroleum-related purchases from Iran, transactions with Iran’s Central Bank and other Iranian financial institutions, the provision of specialized financial messaging services, the provision of insurance, and engagement or investment in Iran’s energy sector will be reimposed.

The European Union has responded to the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions by updating a Blocking Statute to protect EU companies doing business with Iran from the impact of U.S. sanctions. The Blocking Statute will enter into force on August 7, 2018.

In response to these developments, companies around the world that had resumed trade and investment with Iran following the JCPOA began to reverse course. The following table, which relies on news media, tracks these responses. The table, sortable by industry and country, will be updated on a rolling basis as new announcements are made.

Company Industry Headquarters Development Last Updated Source

Airbus

Aviation

France

In response to the U.S. decision to revoke licenses for the sale of passenger aircraft to Iran, will not ship any more aircraft after August 6, 2018; only 3 of the 100 aircraft ordered by Iran have been delivered. The company has not yet decided whether to seek a new export license from the United States.

7/6/2018

Cathy Buyck, "Airbus Sticks to 2018 Delivery Target Despite Sluggish First Half," AIN Online, July 6, 2018.

 

"Iran expects word from Airbus on plane deal soon," Reuters, May 11, 2018.

Allianz

Insurance

Germany

Is identifying Iran-related business and developing wind-down plans for this business in response to possible U.S. sanctions.

5/15/2018

"Allianz making plans to wind down Iran business," Reuters, May 15, 2018.

ATR

Aviation

France

Delivered five turboprop aircraft to IranAir on August 5, 2018; 13 of 20 aircrafts have been delivered.

8/5/2018

"IranAir gets five more ATR regional planes before sanctions," Reuters, August 5, 2018.

ATR

Aviation

France

Has applied for new licenses from the United States to complete the delivery of turboprop aircraft to Iran; 8 of 20 aircraft have been delivered.

7/4/2018

"ATR seeks U.S. approval to deliver planes to Iran before cut-off," Reuters, July 4, 2018.

AXA

Insurance

France

Has suspended any new marine insurance contracts with Iran; had insured shipping and shipments for Iran following the nuclear agreement.

7/13/2018

Carolyn Cohn, Jonathan Saul, "U.S. sanctions seen barring IT platform of insurer Lloyd's for Iran trade," Reuters, July 13, 2018.

Banca Popolare di Sondrio

Banking

Italy

Is restricting or stopping business with Iran.

6/25/2018

Benoit Faucon and Sarah McFarlane, "King Dollar Tightens Noose on Iranian Economy," The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2018.

Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP)

Banking

Switzerland

Stopped financing Iranian crude oil cargoes after June 30, which caused several refiners to stop purchasing Iranian crude oil.

7/17/2018

"As sanctions start to bite, Iran crude exports set to wilt," Reuters, July 17, 2018.

Boeing

Aviation

United States

Had an agreement to sell about $20 million worth of commercial aircraft to Iran Air and Iran Aseman Airlines, but had not included this deal in its order book. In response to the U.S. decision to revoke licenses for the sale of passenger aircraft to Iran, "will consult with the U.S. government on next steps."

5/8/2018

Michael Sheetz and Leslie Josephs, CNBC, May 8, 2018.

Chubb Ltd.

Insurance

United States

Has been providing insurance through non-U.S. subsidiaries to marine cargo clients transporting oil and other products to and from Iran; will ensure "full compliance" with U.S. sanctions on Iran.

6/7/2018

"American companies are paying the price for Trump's Iran policy," CNN, June 7, 2018.

CMA CGM

Shipping

France

Has decided to pull out of Iran and suspend an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) that allowed for vessel space leasing, operation of joint shipping lines, and cooperation on the use of port terminals.

7/7/2018

"French Shipping Company Drops Iran Due To U.S. Sanctions Threat," RFE/RL, July 8, 2018.

 

"French shipping firm CMA CGM ends Iran ops due to U.S. sanctions threat," Reuters, July 7, 2018.

Daimler

Automotive

Germany

Has suspended activities in Iran "until further notice according to applicable sanctions"; had not resumed the production or sale of Mercedes cars or trucks in Iran.

8/7/2018

"Daimler abandons its Iran plans over US sanctions," CNN, August 7, 2018.

Dover

Energy

United States

Announced end of its business in Iran; had been selling spare parts for pumps used in Iran’s energy infrastructure under OFAC License H, which authorized foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to do business in Iran.

6/7/2018

"American companies are paying the price for Trump's Iran policy," CNN, June 7, 2018.

DZ Bank

Banking

Germany

Halted financial transactions with Iran as of July 1, including foreign payment transactions.

5/18/2018

"Germany's DZ Bank to halt Iran transactions in July," Reuters, May 18, 2018.

Eni

Energy

Italy

Has said it has no plans for new projects in Iran.

5/30/2018

Nidhi Verma and Alex Lawler, "Exclusive: India's Reliance to halt oil imports from Iran: sources," Reuters, May 30, 2018.

Engie SA

Energy

France

Has engineering teams in Iran working for clients, but will end all contracts before November 4, 2018.

5/18/2018

"Engie says to end engineering contracts in Iran by November," Reuters, May 18, 2018.

Gazprom

Energy

Russia

Is negotiating with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to develop the Kish, Farzad-A, and Farzad-B gas fields, and another field in South Pars.

6/17/2018

"Gazprom says ready to start major gas projects in Iran," Press TV, June 17, 2018.

General Electric (GE)

Energy

United States

Plans to end sales of oil and natural-gas equipment to Iran before November 4, 2018 in response to the return of U.S. sanctions. Has shut down the Tehran office of GE Power and has "all but abandoned" about $150 million in bids for pipelines, compressors, and subsea equipment made through foreign subsidiaries.

5/31/2018

Benoit Faucon and Thomas Gryta, "GE Pulls Back From Work in Iran," The Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2018.

Groupe PSA

Automotive

France

Has begun suspending joint venture activities with Iran Khodro and Saipa to sell cars in Iran, in order to avoid the risk of U.S. sanctions. Is engaging with U.S. authorities on a waiver to continue selling cars in Iran.

6/5/2018

"French carmaker PSA to leave Iran over risk of US sanctions," France24, June 5, 2018.

Hapag-Lloyd

Shipping

Germany

Has stopped one of its two feeder services to Iran and will decide on the remaining feeder before the return of U.S. sanctions on November 4, 2018. Is waiting for clarification on operations that will be permitted after November 4, 2018 before making a decision on continued business with ran.

6/11/2018

"German container line Hapag-Lloyd scaling back Iran business," Reuters, June 11, 2018.

Honeywell International

Energy

United States

Has earned about $115 million in revenue from Iran through its non-U.S. subsidiaries since 2016; has not yet completed its contracts; could lose this potential revenue unless it is able to fulfill the $100 million in remaining contracts by November 4, 2018.

6/5/2018

"U.S. Companies Wind Down Iran Business After Nuclear Deal Pullout," The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2018.

Hyundai

Automotive

South Korea

Has suspended contracts with Iran and is preparing to end cooperation with Iran’s Kerman Khodro company.

6/13/2018

"Mazda, Hyundai Leave Iranian Market, Affecting Cars and Shipping," Radio Farda, June 13, 2018.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI)

Shipping

South Korea

In December 2016, signed a $760 million contract with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) to build four 14,500 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ships and six 49,000-ton tankers for petrochemical products; tankers were built by its affiliate, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard; is taking a “wait-and-see approach” noting that it will be impossible to deliver the ships to Iran under U.S. sanctions.

6/13/2018

"Mazda, Hyundai Leave Iranian Market, Affecting Cars and Shipping," Radio Farda, June 13, 2018.

Idemitsu Kosan Co.

Energy

Japan

An oil refiner that may have to stop purchases of Iranian crude oil in August if Japan's government doesn't secure an exemption from U.S. sanctions.

6/22/2018

"Japan could end Iran oil loading from Oct without exemption from U.S. sanctions: PAJ," Reuters, June 22, 2018.

Indian Oil Corp.

Energy

India

India's largest oil refiner is considering whether to cut imports of Iranian crude oil following a decision by the State Bank of India to stop dealing with Iran.

6/25/2018

Benoit Faucon and Sarah McFarlane, "King Dollar Tightens Noose on Iranian Economy," The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2018.

IndusInd

Banking

India

Provides financial facilitation for exports to Iran and has told Indian exporters to complete deals with Iran by August 6, 2018.

5/29/2018

"Indian banks ask exporters to close Iran deals due to sanctions," Reuters, May 29, 2018.

Ingenico Group SA

Energy

France

Will exit its distribution partnership in Iran before November 4, 2018; had previously predicted a profit of 16 million euros from its business in Iran.

7/25/2018

"France's Ingenico cuts core profit outlook on Iran exit, currency headwinds," Reuters, July 25, 2018.

KBC Bank

Banking

Belgium

Will limit Iran-related transactions to humanitarian trade as of November 4, 2018 following the U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions.

6/7/2018

Jonathan Saul, "Belgium's KBC to limit Iran transactions after U.S. sanctions move," Reuters, June 7, 2018.

Lloyd's of London

Insurance

United Kingdom

May not be able to process Iran-related business, including marine, energy, and trade credit cover, through an IT platform that is co-owned by U.S. firm DXC.

7/13/18

Carolyn Cohn, Jonathan Saul, "U.S. sanctions seen barring IT platform of insurer Lloyd's for Iran trade," Reuters, July 13, 2018.

Lukoil

Energy

Russia

Has put on hold plans to develop the Abe Timur and Mansuri oilfields in Iran, due to the threat of U.S. sanctions.

5/29/2018

"Lukoil puts Iran plans on hold due to threat of U.S. sanctions," Reuters, May 29, 2018.

Maersk Tankers AS

Shipping

Denmark

Will wind down customer agreements in Iran by November 4, 2018, in response to U.S. sanctions.

5/16/2018

"Maersk Tankers to wind down customer agreements in Iran," Reuters, May 16, 2018.

Mazda

Automotive

Japan

Has suspended contracts with Iran; Iran’s Bahman Motors, which has historically presented Mazda’s products in Iran, has been replaced with China’s Haval.

6/13/2018

"Mazda, Hyundai Leave Iranian Market, Affecting Cars and Shipping," Radio Farda, June 13, 2018.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

Shipping

Switzerland

Will not take new bookings for Iran but will complete allowable shipments during the wind-down period ending November 4, 2018.

6/11/2018

"German container line Hapag-Lloyd scaling back Iran business," Reuters, June 11, 2018.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG)

Banking

Japan

Will stop all Iran transactions to comply with U.S. sanctions, which could force a halt to Japanese imports of Iranian crude oil; the bank handles the majority of these imports.

7/17/2018

"Japanese Banks MUFG, Mizuho to stop Iranian Transactions," Reuters, July 17, 2018.

Mizuho Financial Group Inc

Banking

Japan

Will stop all Iran transactions to comply with U.S. sanctions.

7/17/2018

"Japanese Banks MUFG, Mizuho to stop Iranian Transactions," Reuters, July 17, 2018.

Oberbank

Banking

Austria

Has placed Iranian financing projects on hold and transactions and letters of credit to Iran are provided only for contracts signed before May 8; is advising its customers to conclude Iran-related transactions because payments will likely be impossible after November 4, 2018.

6/13/2018

"Austria's Oberbank withdraws from Iran," Reuters, June 13, 2018.

OMV

Energy

Austria

Will conclude seismic studies in Iran, but will not pursue projects further, because "U.S. sanctions are a much bigger risk," according to company CEO.

6/12/2018

Kirsti Knolle, Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich, "OMV seeks talks with Norway to secure Gazprom deal approval," Reuters, June 12, 2018.

PGNiG

Energy

Poland

Will suspend a gas project in Iran because of U.S. sanctions.

5/18/2018

"Poland's PGNiG plans to suspend gas project in Iran because of U.S. sanctions," Reuters, May 18, 2018.

Reliance Industries

Energy

India

May halt oil imports from Iran by October or November and has asked the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to supply oil in vessels owned by National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).

5/30/2018

Nidhi Verma and Alex Lawler, "Exclusive: India's Reliance to halt oil imports from Iran: sources," Reuters, May 30, 2018.

Renault SA

Automotive

France

Will place Iranian operations on hold to comply with U.S. sanctions. Had previously signed an agreement with Iran's Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) and Parto Negin Naseh Co. to boost local car production.

7/27/18

Ania Nussbaum, "Renault Likely to Pull Out of Iran Because of U.S. Sanctions," Bloomberg, July 27, 2018.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC

Energy

Netherlands

Has halted purchases of Iranian crude oil.

6/22/2018

Annmarie Hordern and Golnar Motevalli, "Iran Doesn't Expect Oil Customers to Get Sanctions Waivers," Bloomberg, June 22, 2018.

Saras SpA

Energy

Italy

May stop purchases of Iranian oil because of the difficulty of findings banks to finance the trade.

6/25/2018

Benoit Faucon and Sarah McFarlane, "King Dollar Tightens Noose on Iranian Economy," The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2018.

Scor SE

Insurance

France

Will not seek renew existing contracts in Iran or seek new business.

7/13/2018

"U.S. rejects French request for Iran exemptions as reinsurer Scor pulls out," Reuters, July 13, 2018.

Siemens

Energy

Germany

Will not do any new business in Iran in light of U.S. sanctions; the delivery of three gas turbines to Iran is pending.

5/14/2018

Alanna Petroff, "Siemens CEO: We can't do new deals with Iran," CNN, May 14, 2018.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC)

Banking

Japan

Is considering its response in order to comply with U.S. sanctions.

7/17/2018

"Japanese Banks MUFG, Mizuho to stop Iranian Transactions," Reuters, July 17, 2018.

Torm AS

Shipping

Denmark

​​Has stopped taking new orders in Iran.

5/15/2018

"Denmark's Torm says stops taking orders in Iran due to U.S. sanctions," Reuters, May 15, 2018.

Total SA

Energy

France

Has halted work on an Iranian natural-gas project and will not continue the project if it is not granted a waiver by the U.S. government.

5/16/2018

Benoit Faucon, "European Firms Start Pulling Back From Iran," The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2018.

UCO

Banking

India

Provides financial facilitation for exports to Iran and has told Indian exporters to complete deals with Iran by August 6, 2018.

6/29/2018

"Indian banks ask exporters to close Iran deals due to sanctions," Reuters, May 29, 2018.

Valius Holdings

Insurance

United States

Has provided coverage for ship cargo - including crude oil and refined petroleum products - to and from Iran through non-U.S. subsidiaries, which will no longer be licensable activity after November 4, 2018.

6/5/2018

"U.S. Companies Wind Down Iran Business After Nuclear Deal Pullout," The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2018.

​​Wintershall AG

Energy

Germany

​​May not be able to funding for Iranian oil projects because of its parent company, BASF AG, a chemical company with major operations in the United States.

5/16/2018

Benoit Faucon, "European Firms Start Pulling Back From Iran," The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2018.

Wormser

Banking

France

May stop Iran trades because of concerns about accessing U.S. dollars.

6/25/2018

Benoit Faucon and Sarah McFarlane, "King Dollar Tightens Noose on Iranian Economy," The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2018.