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Clinton and Bush Administration officials now admit they knew about Conoco's prospective $1 billion oil contract with Iran. President Clinton nixed the deal by executive order this week. The Houston-based oil firm said today in Senate testimony that it was never told to halt negotiations with Tehran to develop offshore oil fields, despite State Department concerns about Iran's terrorist activities. Senate Banking Committee chairman Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.), who held a hearing on the matter today, said that State Department officials misled the company: "The Clinton and Bush Administrations knew and did nothing," D'Amato said. "They didn't say to Conoco at any one point, 'No, don't do it.'" The Conoco official responsible for the deal, Michael Stinson, was more judicious, telling reporters the problem was merely "a miscommunication." But TIME Washington correspondent Nina Burleigh says Stinson's miffed: Conoco sunk $10 million to $15 million into the protracted negotiations, and now claims the Administration broke a promise to wait 10 days before going public.