US report: Some foreign firms still active in Iran's energy

December 8, 2012 06:18

WASHINGTON, - At least seven companies from China, India, South Korea and South Africa continued to have investments in Iran's oil and gas sectors in 2012 even as Tehran came under international scrutiny for its nuclear ambitions, a US government watchdog said on Friday.

A new US law signed in August gave the Obama administration the authority to sanction firms that help Iran develop its energy resources, a key source of revenue for the country.

For a report to Congress required under that August law, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reviewed publicly available reports and data, and contacted the companies involved to check whether they have stepped back from Iran.

"We did not attempt to determine whether the activities for which the firms are listed in our reports met the legal criteria for sanctionable activities," the GAO said, noting the State Department is responsible for those types of determinations.

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