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U.S. Holds Firm On Sanctions On Iran Energy Market - Official

May 31, 2000, LONDON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. Secretary of State for the Caspian John Wolf said Wednesday there had been no change in U.S. policy on energy cooperation with Iran .

Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires, Wolf said the U.S. has yet to see changes within the region on terrorism and the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, which are necessary before it is prepared to lift sanctions on Iran 's energy sector.

Wolf said he would reiterate his comments later Wednesday when he gives a presentation to a London-based oil and gas conference.

Iran 's deputy oil minister for the Caspian , Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, will also attend Wednesday's oil and gas symposium.

Under the 1996 Iran -Libya Sanctions Act, or Ilsa, U.S. companies are prohibited from doing business with Iran .

International companies with interests in the U.S. are also prohibited from investing more than $20 million a year in Iran 's energy sector.

U.S. President Bill Clinton said recently that Iran continues to be a threat to the national security, economy and foreign policy of the U.S.

But despite continued concerns about Iran 's support of terrorism, the U.S. is seen to have eased its attitude to the country since the election of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997.

In March of this year, the Clinton Administration announced plans to lift a ban on Iranian carpets, caviar and pistachio nuts.

Several U.S. companies have said repeatedly that they would be keen to establish an upstream presence in Iran if the U.S. government were to revise its policy or rescind sanctions against the country's energy sector.


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