Italy’s ENI to Continue Business in Iran

A001211626.jpgItaly’s ENI will continue to do business in Iran amid US pressure for companies to cut investment in the country, ENI’s chief executive said in an interview published Wednesday. Paolo Scaroni told the Financial Times from Rome that ENI “will stick to our contracts,” adding that it was not “appropriate” for anyone to force ENI to not honor those contracts.

Responding to questions about whether American shareholders would put pressure on the company, Scaroni said he expected them to “react to a major move on Iran.”

“But we are not there yet.”

Scaroni said ENI was waiting for the West and Iran to eventually get their relations “on a reasonable footing”.

The United States has already imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran, amid an ongoing row between Iran and the West over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

West claims that Iran’s nuclear program is cover for a drive to develop a nuclear weapon but Iran insists it is aimed solely at producing electricity for a growing population once fossil fuels run out. West has not substantiating document to prove its allegations.

Separately, Scaroni also said that Europe was “sleepwalking” into a “staggering” dependence on gas imported from outside the continent, while also predicting that gas prices would inevitably rise for European customers.

According to the FT, however, his primary concern was the security of the supply of gas, telling the paper, “Gas is a much more fragile product (than oil), more difficult to deliver to customers.”

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