InterviewIran’s PCC challenges US sanctions through legal process

10 January 2011 03:50  [Source: ICIS news]

(recasts third paragraph for clarity)

By Chow Bee Lin

Assaluyeh, IranDUBAI (ICIS)--Petrochemical Commercial Co (PCC) of Iran has started a legal process in the United States to challenge the sanctions imposed by the US against the company, the CEO and board member of PCC, Reza Hamzehlou, said late on Sunday.

On 10 June last year, the UN issued its fourth round of sanctions against Iran.

A few days later, the US and the EU came up with their own set of sanctions against Iranian companies, and the US had included PCC in its list of restricted firms.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Arabplast 2011 in Dubai, a four-day exhibition ending on Tuesday, Hamzehlou said the US sanctions were illegal because they erroneously defined PCC as wholly owned by Iran’s state-owned company, the National Petrochemical Co (NPC).

“I think, you know, if we go to the exact wordings of the sanction on PCC, everyone will fully understand that it’s illegal. The statement in the sanction is telling that PCC is wholly owned by NPC. This is not correct,” said Hamzehlou.

The US should take PCC out of its list of restricted firms because the company was 55% owned by the private sector at the time the US sanctions were imposed, said Hamzehlou.

He said if the people in the US just looked at the facts they would immediately understand that the sanctions on PCC were a mistake. "And I think if they are fair enough, they can just do the (right) thing now,” added Hamzehlou.

The balance 45% stake in PCC, currently owned by the Iranian government, would be transferred to private investors as well by the end of March this year, he added.

More time and efforts were needed to run its business as a result of the sanctions, but PCC managed to grow its business by 28% in terms of tonnage and nearly 60% in terms of value last year, said Hamzehlou.

“Something has happened (as a result of the sanctions), but it was not affecting our job. We didn’t lose our market, we didn’t lose our customers, we are doing our job, we’ve received much more money, we have exported a lot, but with a little bit more effort.” he said.

PCC’s business costs have increased due to the US sanctions but the impact was insignificant, said Hamzehlou.

“It’s not significant. Ten billion dollars of exports in comparison to some dollars and pennies, it’s not important," he said.

PCC is a key exporter of polyethylene (PE), urea, ammonia and methanol to Asia and its main markets include China, India, Vietnam and Pakistan.

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By: Chow Bee Lin
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