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Russia: U.S. To Take 'Action' On Gas Deal

Washington, 30 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The State Department says the United States may impose unilateral sanctions against investors in a new $2 billion energy deal with Iran.

State Department spokesman Christopher Bush said a U.S. law intended to curtail trade with Iran because of its alleged support for international terrorism will be enforced.

The French firm Total, Russia's Gazprom and Malaysia's Petronas signed an agreement with Teheran to develop an offshore natural gas field.

The spokesman said the U.S. position is clear, and that investments in Iran enable it to make more resources available to support terrorism and purchase sophisticated weapons systems.

The U.S. law passed in 1996 requires the president to impose sanctions on any foreign company investing more than $20 million a year in either Libya's or Iran's energy industries.