US warns China over reported gas deal with Iran

The United States has urged China to reconsider a reported multibillion dollar (euro) natural gas deal with Iran amid international efforts to sanction Teheran for its nuclear programs, a US Embassy spokeswoman said Tuesday. China's No. 3 oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corp., was reported last month to be in talks to develop Iran's Northern Pars gas field. Around the same time, the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend a uranium enrichment program that is suspected of being part of a nuclear weapons project. Given the sanctions and Teheran's continued defiance, "We think this is a particularly bad time to be initiating major new commercial deals with Iran," US Embassy spokeswoman Susan Stevenson said in an e-mail.