TRADING WITH IRAN

THE WHITE HOUSE VS. THE STATE DEPARTMENT

There's a battle in the Clinton Administration over how to deal with French oil giant TOTAL and its $2 billion natural-gas deal with Iran. National Security Council and White House political aides want to crack down on Total, using the law Congress passed last year requiring sanctions for foreign companies doing business with Iran. But European experts at the State Department prefer to waive the penalties if France promises to restrict other dealings with the rogue nation. They fear the dispute could escalate into a major trade war with Europe and Asia. "There's absolute unanimity on the undesirability of what Total...

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