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Iran welcomes U.S. energy investments
05-16-2009, 04:02 AM,
Iran welcomes U.S. energy investments
Iran welcomes U.S. energy investments
Published: May 15, 2009 at 10:48 AM

TEHRAN, May 15 (UPI) -- Tehran welcomes investments from American companies interested in the Iranian oil and gas sector, the head of National Iranian Oil Co. said.

Seifollah Jashnsaz, the NIOC chief, pointed to the presence of American companies at an annual oil and gas exhibit earlier in May as a sign Tehran welcomed U.S. investments, Press TV reports.

"The Islamic Republic (of Iran) has always welcomed the investment by all foreign companies in Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical projects, including U.S. firms," he said.

He added there are no legal obstacles to U.S. companies that want to explore options in the Iranian energy sector.

Despite the Iranian position, U.S. lawmakers moved recently to add further restrictions to investments in the Iranian energy sector as punishment for a controversial nuclear program.

A bipartisan effort by 25 U.S. senators in April introduced the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act to supplement existing legislation penalizing trade in the Iranian energy sector.

Calling the oil and gas industry in Iran the "Achilles' heel" of the clerical leaders, the new legislation authorizes harsh penalties on shipping, insurance and financial entities selling gasoline or refined petroleum products to Iran, including a ban on activity in the United States.


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