Withdrawal of Italian Firm Edison International S.P.A. From Iran's Energy Sector

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 6, 2012

The United States welcomes the decision made by the Italian energy company, Edison International S.p.A. (“Edison International”), to withdraw from Iran’s energy sector, specifically its contract to explore Iran’s Dayyer natural gas field. Edison International has also pledged not to engage in sanctionable activity with Iran in the future. As a result, the Secretary of State decided to apply the Special Rule under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act (CISADA). This means that, as long as the company continues to act in accordance with its assurances, under the law, it will not be subject to an investigation into past Iran-based activities.

Edison is the sixth company to withdraw from its investment in Iran under this provision in the ISA, joining companies Total (France), Royal Dutch Shell (UK/Netherlands), Statoil (Norway), ENI (Italy), INPEX (Japan), all of which continue to abide by their commitments to refrain from sanctionable activity that could benefit Iran. These companies have recognized the risks of doing business in Iran’s energy sector given Iran’s proliferation activities, support for terror networks around the world, and other destabilizing actions.

We commend the commitments made by Edison International, and we hope that other firms will follow its lead. We will continue to pursue sanctions as part of a robust dual-track policy to encourage Iran to address the international community’s concerns regarding its nuclear program. Edison’s actions, along with those of all the companies eligible for consideration under the Special Rule, send a clear message to the Iranian government: Iran has a choice; it can comply with its international nuclear obligations, or it can face increased pressure from the international community and greater isolation from the global economy.

PRN: 2012/1097