News

 

DATE=  10/30/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-221954

TITLE=IRAN GAS (L-ONLY)

BYLINE=BARRY WOOD

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  AN INFLUENTIAL U-S SENATOR IS WARNING HE MAY SEEK A 

TIGHTENING OF U-S SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN, BECAUSE OF A PLANNED 

RUSSIAN AND FRENCH DEAL TO DEVELOP AN OFF SHORE GAS FIELD THAT 

WILL PROVIDE IRAN WITH INCREASED FOREIGN EARNINGS.  V-O-A'S BARRY

WOOD REPORTS ON A HEARING IN THE U-S SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE 

(THURSDAY).



TEXT:  SENATOR ALPHONSE D'AMATO IS FURIOUS ABOUT THE PROPOSED TWO

BILLION DOLLAR DEAL UNDER WHICH RUSSIA, FRANCE AND MALAYSIA WILL 

DEVELOP A BIG OFF SHORE GAS FIELD IN THE PERSIAN GULF.  MR. 

D'AMATO'S HEARING TO CONSIDER A U-S RESPONSE OCCURRED AS THE 

FRENCH PRIME MINISTER MET IN MOSCOW WITH PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN 

AND SAID THE IRAN GAS DEAL WOULD GO FORWARD.  



MR. D'AMATO CALLED IRAN A SPONSOR OF STATE TERRORISM DETERMINED 

TO DEVELOP WEAPONS THAT WOULD THREATEN, AMONG OTHERS, RUSSIA AND 

EUROPE.



                        // D'AMATO ACT //



         INDEED, I THINK WE SHOULD AGAIN PAY SOME ATTENTION TO 

         WHAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAS SAID BEFORE AND THAT IS 

         UNCONTROVERTED (CANNOT BE ARGUED).  A STRAIGHT LINE 

         LINKS IRAN'S OIL INCOME AND ITS ABILITY TO SPONSOR 

         TERRORISM, BUILD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, AND 

         ACQUIRE SOPHISTICATED ARMAMENTS.



                          // END ACT //



THE DEAL, SIGNED LAST MONTH, IS COMPLICATED BY THE FACT THAT THE 

U-S EXPORT IMPORT BANK IS PROVIDING LOANS FOR RUSSIA'S GAZPROM TO

PURCHASE U-S MADE GAS EXPLORATION EQUIPMENT.  SOME SENATORS WANT 

THESE LOANS HALTED.  AND THEY PARTICULARLY OPPOSE GAZPROM'S PLAN 

TO SELL BONDS IN THE NEW YORK MARKET.  MR. D'AMATO IS CONSIDERING

EXPANDED SANCTIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT U-S FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

ASSISTING COMPANIES THAT DO BUSINESS IN IRAN.  



THE HEAD OF THE U-S GOVERNMENT'S EXIM BANK, JAMES HARMON, 

SUGGESTED THAT HALTING U-S SUPPLIES TO GAZPROM WOULD BE 

COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE.



                         //HARMON ACT//



         GAZPROM IS THE LARGEST INTEGRATED GAS COMPANY IN THE 

         WORLD.  I WOULD HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE MANY 

         OTHER GAS COMPANIES WITH COMPARABLE TECHNOLOGY ALL OVER 

         THE WORLD. 



                           //END ACT//



ANOTHER SENATOR, CHRISTOPHER DODD, SAID THE MORE EFFECTIVE U-S 

RESPONSE WOULD BE TO CONVINCE RUSSIA AND FRANCE  NOT  TO GO AHEAD

WITH A DEAL THAT WOULD STRENGTHEN IRAN.



                         // DODD ACT //



         WE HAVE GOT TO TRY TO REFORGE, IF WE CAN, THESE 

         RELATIONSHIPS IN EUROPE AND ELSEWHERE.  WE SEE TOO OFTEN

         THAT WE ARE LEFT PRETTY MUCH ALONE ON A LOT OF THESE 

         ISSUES.  IF WE WERE ABLE TO GET OTHER PROVIDERS TO SLOW 

         DOWN AND JOIN US IN SOME OF THESE EFFORTS, WE COULD HAVE

         THE DESIRED EFFECT OF CHANGING SOME OF THESE BEHAVIORS. 

         I KNOW OF  NO  OTHER COURSE OF ACTION THAT IS GOING TO 

         PRODUCE THESE RESULTS.



                          // END ACT //



THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN CONSULTING WITH THE FRENCH, RUSSIAN

AND MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENTS AND COULD ISSUE A SET OF 

RECOMMENDATIONS WITHIN THE NEXT MONTH. (SIGNED)



NE/BDW/MMK



 



30-Oct-97 3:38 PM EST (2038 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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