ALSO READIran sees gas deal with Total within weeks - minister Oil major Total marks return to Iran with gas field deal Total nears deal to invest up to $2 billion in Iran's petrochemical industry Interview: France's Total to go ahead with major Iran gas project - CEO Total to sign USD 4.8 bn gas deal with Iran: oil ministry
PARIS (Reuters) - French oil and gas major Total would have to review its Iran gas project if the United States decided to impose unilateral sanctions on Tehran, given the company's assets in the U.S. market, its chief executive told CNN.
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump refused to formally certify that Iran was complying with the nuclear deal, defying both allies and adversaries. He warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement. The U.S. Congress now has about a month to decide whether to reinstate sanctions.
"Either we can do the deal legally if there is a legal framework," Patrick Pouyanne said in remarks made to CNNMoney Emerging Markets late on Monday. "If we cannot do that for legal reasons, because of [a] change of [the] regime of sanctions, then we have to revisit it."
Pouyanne's office confirmed the interview had taken place.
"If there is a sanctions regime [on Iran], we have to look at it carefully," Pouyanne said.
"We work in the U.S., we have assets in the U.S., we just acquired more assets in the U.S," he added.
It also increased its U.S. presence on Nov. 8 when it announced a deal to buy the liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets of energy group Engie, including its stake in the Cameron LNG project in Louisiana.
However, given the fear of possible U.S. sanctions, western firms and major international banks have still shied away from the country.
Pouyanne said that until the U.S. made its decision, it would push ahead with the South Pars deal, repeating that the company hoped for first contracts by January.
(Reporting by Bate Felix in Paris and Parisa Hafezi in Ankara; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)