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. Iran says oilfields 'too attractive' for France to quit
TEHRAN , Oct 6 (AFP) Oct 06, 2007
Iran on Saturday rejected the possibility of a French investors' pullout of its oil and gas sector amid calls by Paris for tougher sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme, the ISNA news agency reported.

"Iran's resources and market are too attractive for the French to give up," deputy oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said.

He was commenting on whether French oil and gas companies have been prevented from participating in Iranian projects.

France has called for European sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, which could be used to make atomic weapons.

It wants European firms not to bid for new business in Iran and for financial institutions to scale back investments, in a drive to pressure Tehran parallel to UN Security Council sanctions.

Under a deal last year, French oil giant Total is set to exploit phase 11 of Iran's South Pars gas field to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export and to build a liquefaction plant, but the deal is held up by a dispute over prices.

Nozari said "we have not been informed of any official position regarding a withdrawal by Phase 11 LNG buyers."

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