International energy companies would find it impossible to work in Iran amid renewed U.S. sanctions, the head of Total has said.
Patrick Pouyanne's remarks came during a recent interview with CNBC at an OPEC seminar in Austria's capital Vienna.
"There's not a single international company like Total who can work in any country with secondary sanctions. I don't have the right. It's just the reality of the world," Pouyanne said Wednesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement with Iran last month, claiming that the country was running a secret program to build nuclear weapons.
Commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in 2015 between Tehran and the world's major powers including China, Russia, France, the U.K., and U.S., plus Germany.
"At the end of the day you have to face the realities. The reality is that the capital of the world today is in the hands of the U.S.," the chairman said.
Following Trump's decision on reimposing sanctions against Iran, Total announced that it would "not be in a position to continue" the South Pars 11 gas development project in the country and would have to unwind all related operations before Nov. 4, 2018 unless Total was granted a specific project waiver by the U.S. authorities with the support of the French and European authorities.
The company said the decision was taken "as a consequence" of Trump's May 8 announcement to pull out of the JCPOA, and re-impose sanctions against Tehran.
The French oil giant confirmed that its actual spending to date with respect to the South Pars 11 contract -- which was signed in 2017 to develop phase 11 of the field with an initial investment of $1 billion-- was less than €40 million ($47.2 million) in group share, and a withdrawal would not impact its production growth target of 5 percent compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2022.