Monday, May 10, 2010

Iran invites U.S. reps to oil conference

TEHRAN, May 10 (UPI) -- Iran announced plans to invite delegates from 13 countries, including the United States, to an international oil conference in Tehran next week.

Tehran hosts a 2-day oil, gas and petrochemical conference starting May 19. More than 100 delegate from 13 counties, including Russia, Canada, Holland, Germany and the United States, are invited to attend, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reports.

The Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 imposed sanctions on companies doing more than $20 million worth of business with Iran. As of 2008, the measure remains moot for fear of angering U.S. allies, an April report by the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office found.

U.S. lawmakers, however, are backing measures that would sanction companies doing business with Iran. International oil and gas trader Vitol and Russian oil company Lukoil have backed out of Iran because of economic pressure, though China continues to work there.

Iran said the interest from the 30 countries participating in an international oil exhibition in Tehran in April depicted a "clear picture" of interest in Iranian oil and gas.

Iran has the third largest proven oil reserves and the second largest natural gas reserves in the world.

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