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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Japan Lost Exclusive Rights To Oilfield - Report
Fri Sep 19, 3:42 PM ET

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Japanese oil companies lost their exclusive rights to develop Iran's Azadegan oilfield as they failed to sign an agreement on time, Iran's oil minister was quoted Friday as saying.

The BBC Monitoring service quoted Bijan Namdar Zangeneh as making the comment to the Fars News Agency in Tehran.

The issue has surfaced in recent days after a Japanese consortium of Inpex Corp., Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. and Tomen Corp. didn't sign a development agreement by the June 30 deadline.

The U.S. had asked Japan to delay signing the contract due to concerns over Iran's nuclear activities.

Iran reportedly has selected at least three companies in Europe and China to take part in the bidding for development of Azadegan, one of the world's biggest reserves. Total of France, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Royal Dutch/Shell Group reportedly have been invited to bid.

"The timeframe in which Japan enjoyed exclusive rights to developing the Azadegan oilfield has expired for some time now, particulary since they failed to sign the contract in the time given to them."

He said, "the Iranian National Oil Co. has entered negotiations with international companies to develop the Azadegan oilfield. But, we have not reached any conclusive results yet."

Commenting on reports that Indonesia would be given an oilfield project, Zanganeh said: "Indonesia had asked to develop an oilfield, but it is not true that it will be given the project without its participation in bidding."
8 posted on 09/20/2003 1:34:34 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; AdmSmith; seamole; Valin; McGavin999; Texas_Dawg; Persia; yonif; ...
Iran lagging in war on terror, says Saudi envoy to U.S.

The Saudi ambassador to the United States took aim at Iran Friday, saying his country's neighbor is dragging its heels in the war on terrorism.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz waded into the complex tug-of-war between Washington and Tehran, saying Iranian hard-liners are refusing to extradite several high-ranking members of al Qaeda who were captured in Iran in recent months.

"The Iranian government has told us that they are not supporting (al Qaeda) and not cooperating with them," Bandar said in a meeting with The Chronicle's editorial board.

"But those people are there (in Iran), and somebody must be helping them. The question is who? And this is the problem with Iran. The people who we can deal with can't deliver, they can't lead eight ducks across the street," he said referring to reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who is opposed by conservatives in charge of the nation's security apparatus.

"And the guys who can deliver, they're not interested. So it's a waiting game."

Bandar said his government believes there are between 100 and 400 al Qaeda members in Iran. Among the suspects whom the Saudis want extradited are Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's older sons and a Saudi citizen, and the terror network's No. 3 leader, Saif al-Adel.

Saudi officials have said al-Adel, an Egyptian, helped orchestrate the May 12 bombings in Riyadh that killed 35 people, including nine Americans.

However, the Saudi-Iranian dispute appears to be a proxy battle over U.S. policy toward Iran.

Diplomats say the Iranian government is demanding a three-way deal in return for extraditing the prisoners. The Iranians want the U.S. military to close the Iraqi training camps of the Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian guerrilla force that was armed by Saddam Hussein and has been designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.

Although the State Department has reportedly supported such a deal, U.S. forces in Iraq have made no move to shut down the camps. Some analysts say the rebels are supported by Bush administration conservatives who want to use them to overthrow the Tehran government.

The stakes in the struggle are high because of U.S. charges that Iran is building nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency, a branch of the United Nations, has given the Islamic government until Oct. 31 to disprove the allegations.

Bandar is no stranger to geopolitical intrigue. The kingdom's envoy in Washington since 1983, he is the longest-serving foreign diplomat in Washington and has been a confidant of several presidents. He has been a major inside player in many U.S. policy initiatives in the Middle East.

In the meeting Friday, Bandar strongly defended Saudi cooperation with the anti-terror fight. He cited recent Saudi steps to crack down on money laundering and to prevent Saudi charities from funneling money to terrorists.

"Have I told you we've cleaned up every crazy in Saudi Arabia?" he asked. "No. But we're doing our best."
9 posted on 09/20/2003 6:18:13 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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