News

 

DATE=  9/30/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-220631

TITLE=U-S/FRANCE/IRAN (L)

BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST

DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION INDICATED TUESDAY IT IS NOT 

RUSHING INTO A CONFRONTATION WITH EUROPE OVER THE HUGE GAS DEAL 

CONCLUDED SUNDAY BETWEEN IRAN AND THE FRENCH OIL COMPANY, TOTAL. 

THE DEAL COULD TRIGGER U-S TRADE SANCTIONS -- BUT ALSO EUROPEAN 

RETALIATION. VOA'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.



TEXT: WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS SAY THE ADMINISTRATION IS STUDYING 

THE TWO BILLION DOLLAR DEAL, BUT IT MAY BE WEEKS BEFORE A 

DECISION IS MADE ON WHETHER IT WILL TRIGGER U-S PENALTIES UNDER 

THE IRAN-LIBYA SANCTIONS ACT.



PRESIDENT CLINTON IS EMPOWERED UNDER THE 1996 LAW FROM CONGRESS 

TO IMPOSE A VARIETY OF PUNITIVE MEASURES AGAINST FOREIGN FIRMS 

DOING BUSINESS WITH IRAN, WHICH IS ACCUSED BY THE ADMINISTRATION 

OF SPONSORING TERRORISM.



BRIEFING REPORTERS, SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY GIVE NO INDICATION OF 

WHAT MR. CLINTON MIGHT DECIDE, BUT DID SAY FRENCH EFFORTS TO DRAW

IRAN INTO DIALOGUE THROUGH TRADE AND POLITICAL TIES HAVE FAILED 

TO ALTER IRANIAN BEHAVIOR:



                        ///MCCURRY ACT///



         WE HAVE NEVER DISPUTED THEIR RIGHT TO HAVE A SO-CALLED 

         CRITICAL DIALOGUE WITH IRAN. BUT WE'VE OFTEN POINTED OUT

         IT HAS NOT YIELDED MUCH RESULT. IT HAS MAYBE YIELDED 

         SOME ECONOMIC BENEFIT FOR PORTIONS OF EUROPE. IT HAS NOT

         YIELDED ANY CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR IN A REGIME THAT 

         CONTINUES TO SPONSOR TERRORISM, AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 

         SPECIFIC EFFORTS TO ACQUIRE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION 

         AGAINST THE WILL OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNUITY.



                          ///END ACT///



THE SANCTIONS ACT OBLIGATES THE PRESIDENT TO MOVE AGAINST FIRMS 

INVESTING MORE THAN 20 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE OIL INDUSTRIES OF 

IRAN OR LIBYA. HE HAS VARIOUS OPTIONS INCLUDING THE DENIAL OF U-S

CREDITS, BUT COULD DELAY THE IMPOSITION OF ANY PENALTIES FOR UP 

TO 90 DAYS TO ALLOW FOR CONSULTATIONS WITH THE AFFECTED 

GOVERNMENTS.



THE FRENCH OIL FIRM TOTAL -- WHICH SIGNED THE GAS DEAL ALONG WITH

RUSSIAN AND MALAYSIAN PARTNERS -- CONTENDS THE ACCORD IS IN LINE 

WITH FRENCH AND INTERNATIONAL LAW, AND THAT AMERICAN PENALTIES 

WOULD BE AN EXTRA-TERRITORIAL APPLICATION OF U-S LAW.



FRENCH AND EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIALS HAVE WARNED THAT A U-S 

SANCTIONS MOVE WOULD PRODUCE RETALIATORY TRADE ACTIONS IN EUROPE.

THE UNITED STATES AND E-U HAVE HAD A LONG-RUNNING DISPUTE OVER 

THE SIMILAR HELMS-BURTON LAW, WHICH PENALIZES COMPANIES INVESTING

IN CUBAN PROPERTIES CONFISCATED FROM AMERICANS AFTER CUBA'S 1959 

REVOLUTION. (SIGNED)



NEB/DAG/KL



30-Sep-97 4:09 PM EDT (2009 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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