France’s Total is holding talks with both Iran and Saudi Arabia for petrochemicals projects, demonstrating its determination to maintain historical strong relations with both Tehran and Riyadh despite the recent escalation of geopolitical tensions among Gulf countries.

Coinciding with this week’s deal with China’s CNPC and Iranian state firm Petropars to develop Phase 11 of the giant South Pars gas field (see p12), the head of Iranian state petrochemicals firm NPC has...