Austrian company may face sanctions for Iran deal

A senior Democratic congressman said an Austrian company could face sanctions if it carries through with a proposed gas deal with Iran. Tom Lantos, the chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was outraged by the Austrian energy giant OMV's announcement with Iranian officials Saturday of a preliminary agreement to develop Iran's Pars gas fields. "OMV will regret this action," Lantos said in a statement. "It has already damaged its reputation and, if it follows through on the deal, I have no doubt it will be sanctioned." Lantos said the company could be sanctioned under the existing Iran Sanctions Act or new legislation he has proposed. Lantos is the sponsor of a bill that he says would strip the White House of its ability under current legislation to waive sanctions against companies investing in Iran's energy sector.