Taken Questions Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC June 30, 2003

Japan Investment in Iran Oil Field (Taken Question)

Question Taken at June 30, 2003 Daily Press Briefing

Question: Is the United States pressuring Japan not to conclude an agreement to invest in Iran's Azadegan Oil Field?

Answer: Given our deep concerns about Iran's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and support for terrorism, we have long had a policy of opposition to investment in Iran's petroleum sector. Moreover, the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, which provides for sanctions in the case of certain such investments, remains U.S. law.

We would be opposed to such investment at any time, but it is certainly true that given recent revelations about Iran's nuclear programs, and efforts being made through the International Atomic Energy Agency to deal with the threat Iran poses, this would be a particularly unfortunate time to go forward with major new oil and gas deals.

Our concerns about Iranian policies and actions, and about oil and gas investment there, are matters that regularly figure in our diplomatic exchanges. We have no comment on discussions with particular governments.

Released on June 30, 2003