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|Sunday, August 05, 2001, updated at 12:57(GMT+8)|
Iran Condemns US Extension of Sanctions ActIran on Saturday condemned US President George W. Bush's approval of extension of a sanctions act against the Islamic Republic, saying it is a step towards US isolation in the international arena.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency, that the US use of sanctions as a tool to impose its political will lacks logic and is contrary to international norms on free trade.
On Friday, Bush signed into law a five-year extension of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act enacted in 1996. The extended act bans foreign firms from investing more than 20 million US dollars in either Iran's or Libya's energy sector. The US Senate and House of Representatives passed the extension bill last week.
Bush said that he shared Congressional concern "about the objectionable policies and behavior of Iran and Libya." Washington has considered the two Muslim states to be supporters of international terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction.
Asefi said the US policy of imposing sanctions against Iran has proved futile, noting it is the American companies that have been hit by the sanctions as the US administration makes it impossible for them to be present in Iranian markets.
Iran and the US severed relations in 1980 after some Muslim students occupied the US embassy in Tehran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The US has since imposed economic sanctions against Iran.
In August 1996, Washington imposed the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act to restrict foreign investments in the two countries.
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