Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image ‘If Dutch Shell moves forward with its proposed $10 billion deal with Iran, it will be sanctioned’

Headline: Lantos moots ban on nuke deals with those aiding IranWed, 2007-03-07 06:42. International
By Arun Kumar,

Washington, March 7 (IANS) A US lawmaker proposes to introduce a legislation to bar the Bush administration from entering into civil nuclear deals with countries, be it India or China, if they aid Iran’s nuclear programme.

“My legislation goes beyond the waiver issue. If a nation aids Iran’s nuclear programme, it will not be able to have a nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States,” Tom Lantos, chairman of the powerful House foreign affairs committee, said Tuesday during a hearing on “The Iranian Challenge”.

“If Dutch Shell moves forward with its proposed $10 billion deal with Iran, it will be sanctioned. If Malaysia moves forward with a similar deal, it too will be sanctioned. The same treatment will be accorded to China and India should they finalise deals with Iran,” he said.

As a member of the Senate-House conference on US-India nuclear deal, Lantos is believed to have insisted on including the contentious provision relating to Iran in the enabling law passed by then Republican controlled Congress. The provision requires the US president to report whether India is cooperating in international efforts to restrain Iran’s nuclear programme.

Lantos said the objective of his proposed “Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007” is two-fold: To prevent Iran from securing nuclear arms and the means to produce them. And to ensure that we achieve this goal in a peaceful manner.

“My legislation will increase exponentially the economic pressure on Iran, and empower our diplomatic efforts by strengthening the Iran Sanctions Act. It will put an end to the administration’s ability to waive sanctions against foreign companies that invest in Iran’s energy industry,” he said.

Until now, abusing its waiver authority and other flexibility in the law, the executive branch has never sanctioned any foreign oil company that invested in Iran, said Lantos. “Those halcyon days for the oil industry are over.”

Welcoming Bush administration’s move to join Iran and Syria for discussions on stability in Iraq, Lantos said: “Perhaps this diplomatic contact with Iran might pave the way for a broader dialogue with Tehran designed to bridge the gulf between our two nations.”

But diplomacy with Iran does not stand a chance unless it is backed by strong international sanctions against the regime in Tehran, he said. “Iran’s theocracy must understand that it cannot pursue a nuclear weapons programme without sacrificing the political and economic future of the Iranian people.”

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