Iran in talks with Swiss Vitol Group over $1billion oil deal

Iran is seeking to extend or renew a $1 billion oil deal with the Swiss Vitol Group ahead of the promised return in November of crippling US sanctions, media reported.

The National Iranian Oil Company is now in talks with Vitol to rescue their 2016 deal, in which the trader agreed to pre-finance the equivalent of $1 billion in exchange for future oil deliveries, sources familiar with the issue told the Wall Street Journal.

The US publication cited another source in the know who said the Swiss energy company was likely to scrap the agreement. A spokeswoman for the Group told the paper it complied with all international sanctions.

The US threat to go after foreign businesses in Iran has been harshly criticised in Europe. The European Union introduced a blocking statute to shield EU companies from the impact of US restrictions. Switzerland is not an EU member.