Aerospace, Energy
United Kingdom

British engineering company Rolls-Royce denied a report in The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday that it had in the past sold equipment to Iran by exploiting a series of loopholes in U.S. sanctions. "Rolls-Royce refutes any accusation that it has traded 'in secret' in Iran or that it circumvented U.S. sanctions," said a Rolls-Royce spokesman in an emailed statement. "We conduct business in all countries, including Iran, in accordance with all relevant UK, EU or other national sanctions and export control regulations. This includes applying for export licenses, when they are required, and complying strictly with their terms and conditions." (Reuters, "Rolls-Royce denies UK media report over past Iran sales," 12/21/2016).


"Rolls-Royce sold equipment to Iran for decades, a confidential company memo reveals, exploiting a series of loopholes in US sanctions to avoid breaking the law. The Iranian government amassed the world’s largest collection of the British engineering group’s signature turbine and booked millions of pounds of orders each year, according to a briefing drafted in 2009 for the company’s then chief executive, Sir John Rose. Trading in Iran appears to have carried on despite the enormous political risk of being seen to avoid US sanctions. A quarter of Rolls-Royce’s entire £14bn revenue is generated in the US, with much of that reliant on military contracts. The company signed orders worth $224m (£181m) from the Department of Defense in the first half of 2015 alone... Between 1975 and 1995, state-owned oil and gas firms in Iran procured almost 100 Rolls-Royce industrial turbines, according to the memo. By 2009, 69 Avon turbines had been acquired by the National Iranian Oil Company, which is cited in US sanctions... The company generated £69m of orders in the country between 2001 and 2009, according to the briefing, and also signed a “technical assistance agreement” to support a facility that carried out repairs and overhauls on about 10 turbines each year." (The Guardian,  "Rolls-Royce exploited US sanctions loopholes to trade with Iran," 12/21/2016).


"Iran is stepping up the hunt for overseas investment in its energy infrastructure after talks with Siemens and Rolls-Royce that point to the gradual opening of the country’s economy following the lifting of international sanctions. Hamid Chitchian, Iran’s energy minister, met representatives of both companies in London last week to discuss collaboration in power generation technology. The talks were focused on so-called decentralised power generators that can provide more localised and flexible supplies of electricity than big power stations. No deals were struck but Mr Chitchian told the Financial Times that Siemens and Rolls-Royce were interested and he hoped to 'reach a result' soon. Rolls-Royce said last week’s talks with Mr Chitchian involved the potential use of piston engines made by the group’s power systems business in Germany. 'The minister requested a meeting with Rolls-Royce to discuss the renewal of Iran’s energy infrastructure and whether our diesel and gas power generation systems have a role to play,' it said." (Financial Times, "Iran opens talks with Siemens and Rolls-Royce on energy investment." (7/17/2016)