Risky Business: UANI Prevents Iran’s Participation in an International Oil & Gas Conference

Conference Organizers to Host UANI Board Member & Senior Advisor in Iran’s Place

(New York, N.Y.) - After being warned by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) of potential exposure to U.S. sanctions, the Scientific Federation’s 5th World Congress & Expo on Oil, Gas & Petroleum Engineering has disinvited a National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) official from its conference.

The Expo is advertised as an “international platform for meeting researchers around the world, widen[ing] professional contact and creat[ing] new opportunities, including establishing new collaborations.” Abdollah Esmaeili, an official at NIOC’s National Iranian South Oil Company, accepted an invitation to be a keynote speaker at the event to be held in Milan, Italy on March 28 and 29. The World Congress & Expo rescinded that offer after UANI warned Esmaeili’s participation carried with it the risk of secondary sanctions on the event, and its organizers, and likely commercial, financial, legal and reputational fallout from doing business with Iran’s state-owned oil company.  

The Scientific Federation has instead extended an invite to UANI Board Member and Senior Advisor Ambassador Giulio Terzi, who previously served as Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Terzi’s presentation, “Doing Business In Iran’s Energy Sector: Evaluating the Risks and Rewards,” will offer an overview of the business climate for Iran’s oil, gas, and petroleum industries given its continued development of nuclear weapons, resulting sanctions and resulting attempts to bypass sanctions, including through the European Union’s Special Purpose Vehicle for trade, INSTEX.  

“The World Congress & Expo on Oil, Gas & Petroleum Engineering was right to sever ties with Mr. Esmaeili, a mouthpiece for Iran’s state-run oil and gas company. As UANI and the Scientific Federation noted, Iran’s state-sponsored propagandists have no place among the energy sector’s best and brightest who will be attending the conference from more than 20 countries,” said UANI Chief Executive Officer Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “NIOC is not only an oil and gas company, it is an active affiliate of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the primary vehicle for Iranian terror operations.”

“I look forward to bringing to light at this gathering NIOC's role in supporting the Iranian regime and the IRGC's activities,” said Ambassador Giulio Terzi. “It is imperative that senior officials from the oil and gas industry have a better appreciation of the risks and rewards of involvement with Tehran and its illicit economic channels.”