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BP Amoco Chemicals Won't Invest In Iran Under Sanctions

August 4, 1999, LONDON (Dow Jones)--BP Amoco PLC (BPA) won't invest in Iran 's petrochemicals industry until the British and U.S. governments reach agreement on sanctions, which limit non-U.S. companies from investing in Iran , Bryan K. Sanderson, chief executive officer of BP Amoco Chemicals, told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.

"We won't budge an inch and invest in Iran until London and Washington make some sort of an agreement on the whole sanctions issue," Sanderson said.

Under the Iran /Libya Sanctions Act, non-U.S. companies that do business in Iran or Libya stand to have their U.S. assets penalized.

BP Amoco Chemicals has been hotly tipped by senior representatives at Iran 's National Petrochemicals Company as the first international company expected to make an investment in Iran 's petrochemicals sector.

A senior director at NPC told Dow Jones Newswires recently BP Amoco Chemicals would decide by the end of August whether to build a 1 million-metric-tons-a-year ethylene cracker at Bandar Imam on Iran 's Persian Gulf or to move the project to the petrochemicals zone at Assaluyeh in southern Iran .

Sources close to company negotiations under way in Iran have also said that, once BP Amoco Chemicals makes a move and signs a deal with Iran , other international companies will follow suit.

"We would love to go into Iran when the conditions are right - there are so many opportunities there for us," Sanderson said.

"But as well as needing political approval from London and Washington we also want to know that the political ambiance is correct and particularly that it is safe to send staff on the ground there," he said.

According to Sanderson, BP's merger late last year with Amoco hasn't created any new restrictions regarding its investment plans in Iran .

"Before we merged with Amoco, a number of our assets were based in the U.S. Nothing has changed on that front," Sanderson said.

Iranian oil ministry sources have said they have been in talks with potential investors since the end of 1997, when Iran first invited international companies to invest in its petrochemicals sector at a London conference.


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