United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is asking South
African energy giant Sasol to immediately declare an end to its
business in Iran and take the steps necessary to complete such
an exit, the US-based advocacy group said on Monday.
Sasol maintains an active presence in Iran through the Arya
Sasol Polymer Company (ASPC), which operates two polyethylene
plants in Iran. The company is a $900 million joint venture
between Sasol and Iran's state-owned National Petrochemical Company (NPC).
The NPC is sanctioned by the US and is identified by the
international community as an entity of concern for procurement
of weapons of mass destruction and proliferation, the UANI
Sasol announced in October 2011 that it would divest from
Iran, but has not yet followed through on that pledge,
according to the group.
Last month, UANI wrote to Sasol regarding its ongoing
business in Iran. In a December 19 letter to Sasol executives,
UANI chief executive Mark D. Wallace said the US Government
Accountability Office (GAO) had identified Sasol on a list of
"foreign firms engaged in commercial activity in Iran's energy
UANI also expressed concern that the Iranian regime media
outlet Fars News had quoted Eric Roper, ASPC's
managing director, as saying: "Sasol is satisfied with
investment in Iran and doesn't intend to leave the country at
UANI also noted that Sasol, at the same time, "has
aggressively sought to expand its business operations in the
United States," including building a multi-billion dollar plant
in Westlake, Louisiana.
Given an alleged conflict of doing business in both Iran
and in the US, UANI said it is asking Sasol "to
immediately clarify the full extent and nature of its Iran
business dealings, as well as to provide a definitive date as
to when such business dealings will end."
UANI noted that it had recently received direct
correspondence from Sasol.
In that correspondence, Sasol said its CEO, David Constable,
"is not involved in any matter regarding Sasol's activities in
Iran," and that while Sasol "has also taken active steps to
reduce and eventually cease all of its business with Iran[,]
... divesting of Sasol's interest in ASPC has unfortunately
proved to be more complicated than originally
Sasol would not commit to a definitive date to end Iran
This is the most-recent letter sent from UANI to