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U.S. companies to attend Teheran trade fair

Sept 18, 2000, Teheran (dpa) - Five companies from the United States will attend Teheran's international trade fair scheduled early next month, the official news agency IRNA reported Monday. IRNA quoted a commerce ministry official as saying that the five U.S. companies are engaged in production of air conditioning units, audio equipment and cosmetics. The companies were not mentioned by name.

The attendance of the U.S. companies follows cautious approaches by the two sides during the United Nations' Millennium Summit in New York and last week's meeting on Afghanistan which was attended by both Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi.

Iran and the U.S. have not had diplomatic ties for more than two decades. Washington imposed trade sanctions against Teheran in 1995. Tensions between the two countries have eased somewhat since Mohammad Khatami took office as president in 1997.

Iran wants the sanctions to be lifted but the U.S. first wants direct talks with Iranian officials. Teheran is refusing to hold talks until Washington drops terrorist charges against Iran and releases frozen assets which according to Iranian estimates go into billions of dollars.

More than 1,200 companies from 72 countries will attend the Teheran fair which will be held from October 1 to 8. Germany, Japan and Italy will have the largest exhibition halls.


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