Sources: BP orders its European operations not to refuel Iranian airlines jets

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LONDON – BP PLC has instructed its European operations not to refuel Iranian airlines after U.S.

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LONDON – BP PLC has instructed its European operations not to refuel Iranian airlines after U.S. President Barack Obama signed sanctions targeting Iran’s gasoline supplies, people familiar with the matter said Monday.

The ban by one of Europe’s largest aviation fuel suppliers comes as Iranian media said airports in the U.K., Germany and the United Arab Emirates had refused to refuel Iranian passenger jets.

The BP decision comes after Obama’s signing the toughest sanctions ever on Iran already triggered cancellations of gasoline sales by Total SA (TOT) and of a $1.2 billion engineering contract by a Korean company.

U.K. oil giant BP, which is facing U.S. pressure over a huge oil spill, sent faxes to its refueling operations in some European countries–including those owned with partners–around Friday, people familiar with the faxed document said.

The document ordered a ban on refueling for several Iranian airlines, including Iran Air, the people said. “It’s due to a decision from the U.S. Congress,” one person said.

A BP spokeswoman said, “we will comply with any international sanctions that are imposed” on Iran.

She said this applied to U.S. sanctions on gasoline and included refueling and operations where it has joint partners, but declined to comment further.

The company’s air refueling arm, Air BP, is one of Europe’s largest air aviation suppliers and operates in Europe’s main markets, including the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain, according to its website.

On Thursday, Obama signed a sweeping package of tough new energy and financial sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, that included targeting its gasoline supplies.

But not all non-U.S. companies have decided to enforce the sanctions when it comes to refueling. A spokesman for Dubai’s airport told AFP on Monday that Iranian passenger planes are still able to refuel at the airport.

French oil major Total last week decided to end the sale of refined products to Iran to comply with the sanctions. A Total spokesman couldn’t comment on whether that applies to airline refuelling outside Iran or not.

The expanded U.S. sanctions–adding to recent ones from the European Union and the United Nations–are starting to hit all sectors of Iran’s oil and gas industry.

South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction Co. cancelled a contract worth EUR960 million in a giant Iranian gas field due to sanctions by the United Nations and the U.S. against the Islamic republic, a GS spokesman said Friday.

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