Iran News ...


11/9/03

Iran Oil Ministry to complain against Norway over Statoil scandal

Iran's Oil Ministry has declared that it would file a complaint against Norway if its police fails to provide the ministry with information about the alleged involvement of an Iranian company in the recent bribery scandal of Statoil company, IRNA reported from Tehran on Sunday quoting the local press.

The Persian-language newspaper 'Qods' quoted a ministry official as saying that Iran's Information Ministry and the Interpol are currently following up the issue, stressing however that the probes have so far had no fruit.

The official also said the Iranian consultant who has been accused of receiving the Statoil bribery of 15 million dollars and was based in Britain is now at large.

He said the issue of Statoil's bribery had been first raised by a manager of the British Petroleum (BP), and highlighted speculations that BP may have devised a scam to override Statoil in Iran's tenders for the development of its giant South Pars gas project.

"The Oil Ministry will use all its capabilities to seriously follow up the issue," the official told 'Qods'.

Statoil is currently implementing major oil projects in Iran. The Norwegian company last year won a contract to develop South Pars, one of the world's largest natural gas fields.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh last month lashed out at the Norwegian officials for refusing to disclose crucial evidences demanded by Iran over the alleged link of an Iranian company to its Statoil bribery controversy.

Zanganeh told the English-language newspaper 'Iran Daily' that his ministry has not yet come across any evidence relating to the alleged financial corruption in its cooperation with Statoil.

His remarks followed the threats by certain MPs to the effect that they would impeach the minister if the reported bribery of 15 million dollars by Statoil to an Iranian firm is proved.

... Payvand News - 11/9/03 ... --



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