One of the largest integrated oil firms, and arguably the most dynamic in Mena, Total has stolen a march on its competitors in Iran. CEO Patrick Pouyanné speaks* exclusively to MEES on why the time is right to open the firm’s war chest and why Iran is a more attractive investment destination than the US.

Total last year overhauled Anglo-Dutch rival Shell to become the second largest IOC (in terms of output) in the MENA region, closing in on number one player ExxonMobil. Its...