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8

Shell Failed To Sell Business To Iran: US Pressure

International oil group Shell is about to wash out a plan to sell a chemical business to Iran

International oil group Shell is about to wash out a plan to sell a chemical business to Iran, because it is afraid of damaging its extensive US interests.

Shell had been in final talks with Iran's National Petrochemical Company about sale of Basell, the world's largest plastic polypropylene producer, owned by Shell and German company BASF on equal shares.

The Iranians said yesterday that their planned purchase had been blocked.

"We are unofficially told that Iran cannot buy Basell due to the US pressures ," Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, managing director of NPC told reporters.

The sale of the chemical operation is an important part of a Shell strategy to dispose of up to $15bn worth of assets as it restructures following the oil reserves scandal last year.