Iran News ...


8/12/04

Oil Minister rejects Iran link to Statoil bribery scandal

Tehran, Aug 11, IRNA -- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on Wednesday said no proof had been found in investigations into the bribery scandal of Norway's Statoil to indicate that any Iranian official was involved in the case.

Speaking at the Majlis open session, Zanganeh said no document has been found in investigations into the case to conclude that any of Iranian directors had influenced Statoil business deals in Iran.

The minister, who was responding to a question by Tabriz MP Akbar Alami on the issue, stressed that the Oil Ministry will keep a close eye on the issue and would monitor new developments in the case.

Zanganeh recalled that US Justice Department has also opened an independent probe into the case, and said the measure is politically motivated to distort Iran's image.

He said when the allegations on Iran's link to the Statoil case were raised, he had requested Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide his ministry with further information on the issue.

However, Zanganeh said Norwegian officials failed to provide the fact-finding mission of his ministry with the details arguing that their economic police is investigating the issue.

He said he had then asked President Mohammad Khatami and Information Minister Ali Younesi in a letter to probe the issue.

Zanganeh said he had stressed in the letter that the culprits will be dealt with if the Iran link was proved in the case, and if no proof in that connection is found, Iran would strongly confront those who brought up the issue.

He further recalled the report of the Information Ministry on the case that no link between Statoil scandal and any of Iranian officials had been found, stressing that the ministry in the report had called for declaring the case as terminated.

... Payvand News - 8/12/04 ... --



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