Russia slams US sanctions extension against Iran, Libya
Moscow "deplored" the US decision to extend for five years a 1996 sanctions act curbing foreign investment in the petroleum and gas industries of Iran and Libya, foreign ministry sources were quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.
"This is a mistake which may bring more difficulties to the life of the international community and to Russo-US relations in particular," the sources said late Saturday. "The United States are once again trying to impose their internal laws upon the outside world and put pressure on other countries under an invented pretext," the sources added.
Washington considers both Iran and Libya to be supporters of international terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction. The sanctions allow the US government to penalize foreign businesses with more than $20 million invested annually in either Iran's or Libya's energy sector.
"Moscow has cooperated and will continue cooperating with Tripoli and Tehran," the sources affirmed, adding that "Russia has its own economic interests in those states and pursuing them cannot damage any third party."
Washington broke off relations with Iran in 1980 after a hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran, and imposed an oil embargo on the country in 1995.
Diplomatic relations with Tripoli are also frozen amid US contentions that Libya has not yet taken full responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people nor has it adequately compensated the families of victims. ― (AFP, Moscow)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)