One of the absolute worst companies in the entire world is Total SA.
Back when the US first imposed sanctions on Iran and Libya barring US oil companies from giving corporate life support to the regime in Iran, Total established a business strategy to pursue business in those terrorist, rogue nations so they wouldn’t have to compete with US oil companies.
Last week, when the US imposed more stringent sanctions on Iran–sanctions which could have resulted in penalties for foreign oil companies that continue to help Iran fund its nefarious activities–Total decided to finally quit selling refined petroleum to Iran. This belated decision came after other companies, Royal Dutch Shell among them, had long ago decided that enabling the Iranian regime was a risky proposition and bad business practice:
Now, Christophe de Margerie, Total’s shameless CEO, is whining over the new sanctions against Iran. It seems that de Margerie is suddenly worried about “ordinary” Iranians, claiming that the sanctions would harm the “population.” De Margerie went on to say that it was a mistake to “mix” things that were “political and civil.”
We are not sure what his definition of “civil” is, but we would ask Monsieur de Margerie if it would have been a mistake to “mix” things that were “political and civil” back in 1938 or 1939, a year or two before Hitler’s stormtroopers marched triumphantly into downtown Paris to accept the surrender of France?
After all, Germany’s largest trading partner at the time was none other than France.
Let’s get a few things straight about the Islamic Republic of Iran:
First of all, there is no “free enterprise” system running in Iran. Iran has a centralized economy and the regime, especially the Revolutionary Guard Corps, has their mitts on everything in one way or another. You can’t do business in/with Iran without benefiting the regime in some way. For instance, all the banks in Iran are state-owned and operated, which is why they’re all under sanctions in the first place. When Total’s CEO says that sanctions only hurt “ordinary” people, he’s either ignorant or else he’s lying.
In essence, when de Margerie speaks against sanctions against Iran, he is serving the interests of the Ayatollahs who run the brutal regime in Tehran, he’s not looking out for the interests of “ordinary” Iranians. I promise you, Christophe de Margerie couldn’t care less about ordinary Iranians and by doing billions of dollars of business with their rulers, he has prolonged their misery.
Now let’s review just why it’s such a bad idea to be providing corporate life support to the Ayatollahs:
• Iran is the world’s most active state sponsor of Jihadist terrorism.
They give training, arms and funding to HAMAS. Hezbollah is essentially a wing of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran also aids Al Qaeda. For those who doubt that Shia Iran would help Salafi Sunni Al Qaeda, we would remind them that HAMAS is Sunni as well and no one doubts that Iran supports HAMAS. In fact, both HAMAS and Iran acknowledge this. Moreover, there are mountains of evidence of Iranian cooperation with Al Qaeda going back years:
To our knowledge, Iran is one of two nations, the other being Syria, that is involved with HAMAS, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda at the same time.
• Iran played a large role in training, arming and funding the insurgents in Iraq and are now doing the same for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
These activities have led directly to the deaths of numerous American GIs, as well as the deaths of Allied servicemen as well. France has soldiers and airmen serving in Afghanistan, fighting against the Taliban. The Taliban are armed and supported by Iran. Total, France’s largest oil company, is cozy with the rulers of Iran.
Maybe that makes sense to Christophe de Margerie, but we doubt this guy agrees:
• Iran is working on nuclear weapons.
No rational, unbiased observer believes that Iran’s nuclear program is a peaceful energy program. Iran is awash in oil and sitting on huge amounts of natural gas. Moreover, as long ago as 1994, the US State Department was saying publicly that Iran’s nuclear program bore no resemblance to a peaceful energy program, but had all the hallmarks of a weapons program. Nothing has happened to change that assessment. In fact, Iran continues to enrich uranium to levels suitable for weaponry, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
If there is one country in the world that you don’t want to have nuclear weapons, it’s Iran.
• Iran has a robust domestic ballistic missile program.
Iran continues to develop ballistic missiles with intercontinental reach. This makes their other weapons programs all the more worrisome.
Training and supplying terrorists costs money.
Enriching uranium costs money.
Building ballistic missiles costs money.
Western companies like Total that do business with the Ayatollahs enable the Iranians to earn money to develop the means with which to kill us. Despite what Christophe de Margerie says, it doesn’t have anything to do with “politics.” It’s much more important than that.