Oil giant to wind down Iran activities

US OIL giant Halliburton is set to end activities in Iran as bosses believe the Islamic Republic does not fit in with the company’s long-term plans. The firm is currently under a breach of embargo investigation in the US foar its dealings in Iran.

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By  Rhys Jones Published  February 13, 2005

US OIL giant Halliburton is set to end activities in Iran as bosses believe the Islamic Republic does not fit in with the company’s long-term plans. The firm is currently under a breach of embargo investigation in the US foar its dealings in Iran. Halliburton becomes the second energy firm to pull out of Iran after UK oil major BP announced it’s decision not do business with the country a fortnight ago. BP said in a statement the decision was based on concerns over the effects on the company’s American business interests. “The business environment currently in Iran is not conducive to our overall strategies and objectives. As a result, we [will] exit Iran and wind down operations there,” said Dave Lesar, group chairman and chief executive, Halliburton. Under a 1996 law, the US threatens sanctions on both American and foreign companies investing more than US$40 million in Iran’s petroleum industry. Washington broke diplomatic ties with Tehran after Iranian university students stormed its mission in Tehran in 1980 and took diplomats hostage for 444 days. The United States also accuses Iran of covertly trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge vehemently denied by Tehran. “We believe the services we provided in Iran were perfectly legal under US law and minuscule in comparison to the scope of our worldwide activity,” said Lesar. “However, they attracted a disproportionate share of attention,” he added. Halliburton, once chaired by US Vice-President, Dick Cheney also plans to part company with its subsidiary, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), also the subject of several inquiries relating to allegations it overcharged for services to the US military in Iraq.

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