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Beijing has proven time and again that it will recruit anyone with access to the information it wants, regardless of ethnicity, location or motivation. Companies that assume otherwise do so at their own peril.
Iran has invested for decades in capabilities to better strike U.S. assets, critical energy infrastructure around the Persian Gulf and other key strategic targets in the region. But how long would they last in military confrontation with the United States?
In a report delivered to the U.N. Security Council on June 6, the United Arab Emirates classified a May 12 incident involving four oil tankers damaged in the Persian Gulf off the coast of the Emirati port of Fujairah as a "sophisticated and coordinated" act by a state actor, Reuters reported.
Novatek, the second-largest Russian producer of natural gas, signed a preliminary joint venture with China's China Petroleum Corp. and Gazprombank to trade liquefied natural gas on China's domestic market, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide reported June 7.
Hong Kong's Commerce and Economic Development Bureau has said it is under no obligation to enforce U.S. sanctions and only would implement measures endorsed by the U.N. Security Council after the local U.S. Consulate warned against giving any assistance to the oil tanker Pacific Bravo, thought to be sailing to the port city bearing a shipment of Iranian crude, the Asia Times reported May 30.
The U.S. Department of Defense is accusing Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps of attacking oil tankers May 12 in the Persian Gulf just off the Emirati coast, according to Rear Adm. Michael Gilday, director of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Reuters reported May 24.
Despite the standoff between Iran and its regional adversaries, cooler heads have so far prevailed following a purported attack on oil tankers in the UAE over the weekend. When new information comes to light, however, that could change.
Beijing's two largest state-owned refiners, China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), have reportedly declined to purchase oil to load in the month of May, Reuters reported May 10.
A new blacklist of companies barred by the U.N.-recognized government from operating in Libya notably includes French oil giant Total, complicating an already-challenging business environment for foreigners.