News

 

DATE=  10/16/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-221350

TITLE=U-S / IRAN / CUBA / SANCTIONS (L-O)

BYLINE=RON PEMSTEIN

DATELINE=STATE DEPT.

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



           // RE-RUNNING WITH MINOR CHANGE IN INTRO //



INTRO:  THE UNITED STATES IS INVESTIGATING WHETHER A BOND 

OFFERING  FOR THE RUSSIAN FIRM "GAZPROM" VIOLATES AMERICAN 

SANCTIONS AGAINST TRADE WITH IRAN.  AND U-S OFFICIALS EXPECT TO 

CONTINUE TALKS WITH EUROPEANS WHO ARE MIFFED OVER THE 

HELMS-BURTON SANCTIONS INVOLVING CUBA.  RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM

THE STATE DEPARTMENT, AMERICAN SANCTIONS CONTINUE TO CAUSE 

PROBLEMS FOR U-S FRIENDS AND ALLIES.



TEXT:  STATE DEPARTMENT LAWYERS ARE EXAMINING WHETHER THE 

"GOLDMAN SACHS" COMPANY MAY BE VIOLATING AMERICAN TRADE SANCTIONS

AGAINST IRAN BY SELLING ONE-BILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF BONDS TO 

HELP FINANCE THE RUSSIAN FIRM GAZPROM'S INVESTMENT IN IRANIAN 

NATURAL GAS.



THE UNITED STATES HAS REACHED NO FINAL DECISION ABOUT WHETHER THE

INVESTMENTS BY FRENCH, RUSSIAN AND MALAYSIAN FIRMS IN IRAN 

TRIGGER THE SANCTIONS.  HOWEVER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES

FOLEY SAYS THE AMERICAN BOND FIRM MAY BE TAKING A RISK UNTIL A 

DETERMINATION IS MADE.



                         ///FOLEY ACT///



         WE'RE LOOKING AT IT EXPEDITIOUSLY, THE OVERALL QUESTION,

         AND WE'RE NOT INTENDING TO DELAY THE INVESTIGATION AND 

         THE SECRETARY'S (SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE 

         ALBRIGHT'S) ULTIMATE DETERMINATION.  BUT BUSINESSES FACE

         RISKS OF ALL KINDSW EVERY DAY IN MAKING THEIR DECISIONS 

         AND I COULDN'T JUDGE FOR YOU THE MAGNITUDE OF RISK THAT 

         WOULD BE INVOLVED FOR THIS COMPANY TO PROCEED ON THIS 

         ISSUE.



                          ///END ACT///



EUROPEAN COUNTRIES REJECT THE IDEA THAT SANCTIONS IMPOSED BY THE 

U-S CONGRESS SHOULD APPLY TO THEIR FIRMS AS WELL.  HOWEVER, THE 

SANCTIONS COULD AFFECT THE AMERICAN BOND FIRM -- WHERE U-S 

TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT RUBIN WORKED BEFORE HE JOINED PRESIDENT

CLINTON'S CABINET.



THE IRAN-LIBYA SANCTIONS ACT WAS MEANT TO PUNISH THOSE TWO 

COUNTRIES AND TO PREVENT AMERICAN BUSINESSES FROM INVESTING 

THERE. THE ACT ALSO HAS PROVISIONS DENYING FOREIGN FIRMS THE 

AMERICAN MARKET IF THEY INVEST IN IRAN AND LIBYA.



THIS FEATURE OF MAKING AMERICAN SANCTIONS AFFECT FOREIGN 

COUNTRIES  IS ALSO PRESENT IN THE HELMS-BURTON ACT -- WHICH 

PENALIZES FOREIGN FIRMS THAT INVEST IN CUBAN COMPANIES THAT USE 

CONFISCATED AMERICAN PROPERTY.  TALKS BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION 

AND THE UNITED STATES IN BRUSSELS FAILED TO MEET WEDNESDAY'S 

DEADLINE FOR A COMPROMISE.



THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS THREATENED TO TAKE THE DISPUTE TO THE 

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION IF THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT ELIMINATE 

THE PENALTY AGAINST FOREIGN FIRMS.  SPOKESMAN FOLEY SAYS THE 

UNITED STATES IS STILL WILLING TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH THE 

EUROPEANS.



                         ///FOLEY ACT///



         WHILE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES DO REMAIN, THEY HAVE BEEN 

         NARROWED IN THE COURSE OF THIS WEEK'S NEGOTIATIONS. 

         DURING THE COURSE OF THE DISCUSSIONS, THE U-S DELEGATION

         SAW PROMISING AREAS FOR FUTURE WORK AND HAS RECOMMENDED 

         TO WASHINGTON THAT THE PROCESS CONTINUE TO BE PURSUED.



                          ///END ACT///



THE UNITED STATES EXPECTS THE TALKS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION TO  

CONTINUE AT THE END OF THE MONTH IN PARIS (AROUND THE MARGINS OF 

THE O-E-C-D MEETING). 



THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS CAUGHT BETWEEN THE EUROPEANS -- WHO

ARE REJECTING THE EXTRA-TERRITORIAL REACH OF THE AMERICAN 

SANCTIONS LEGISLATION -- AND (U-S) SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS 

COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JESSE HELMS, WHO WANTS PROOF THE STATE 

DEPARTMENT IS VIGOROUSLY APPLYING THE SANCTIONS. (SIGNED)



NEB/RP/RRM



16-Oct-97 3:20 PM EDT (1920 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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