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Australian Companies May Invest In Iranian Oil, Gas Industries - Min

July 31, 2000 TEHRAN (AP)--Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Monday that his country was looking to invest in Iran 's oil and gas industries, despite U.S. legislation banning large investments in the Iranian energy sector.

Downer, speaking to reporters during his two-day visit to Iran , said that "a number of Australian companies are particularly interested in investing in Iran 's gas and oil sectors." He refused to name the companies.

"As far as the U.S. sanctions are concerned, the United States has taken a benign view of a number of European investors in Iran , so we do not expect to be treated any worse than the Europeans have been treated," he said.

The United States has strongly discouraged large investments in Iran , a nation it describes as a sponsor of terrorism. The Iran -Libya Sanctions Act passed by Congress bars U.S. companies from investing more than $20 million in Iran or $40 million in Libya, and threatens to punish foreign companies that do so. The bill has been largely ignored by non-U.S. companies.


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