( IRNA ) - Norway opposes attempts by the US to punish foreign energy companies that do business in Iran's oil and gas sector, according to the country's Energy Minister Odd Roger Enoksen.
"We do not support unilateral sanctions toward Iran," Enoksen said about the US extraterritorial law dating from 1995 that threatens sanctions against energy companies that invest more than Dlrs 20 million a year in Iran.
"This is a commercial decision that has to be made by Norwegian companies," he was quoted as saying by the Norwegian Upstream weekly after meeting US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, Daniel Sullivan.
The minister said that Sullivan "pointed out the US view on the Iran case, and investments from the Norwegian companies in this region," but that he did not specifically ask that Norwegian energy companies stay out of Iran, nor indicate sanctions will be imposed.
"They just wanted to inform me of the US government's view on the situation in Iran," he said, coming at a time when Washington is seeking to racket up sanctions against Iran over its civilian nuclear program.
Following the passing of the controversial US law, the EU successfully obtained a waiver for European companies investing in Iran's oil industry.
Norway's oil group Statoil subsequently signed a contract in 2002 to develop Iran's South Pars natural gas project and up to the end of last year invested some Dlrs 400 million.