Penalizing Terrorism's Business Associates

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WASHINGTON: President Clinton this morning signed a bill penalizing foreign companies doing business with Iran and Libya, two nations accused by the State Department of sponsoring international terrorism. "You can't do business with people by day who are killing your people by night. The U.S. has to act", the President said. Democratic Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware said the Saudi Arabia attack, if state-sponsored, amounts to "an act of war." House Speaker Newt Gingrich fingered Iran as a sponsor of terror, and suggested that "decisive action" may be necessary; Defense Secretary William Perry said Friday that Iran may have been behind the Saudi attack, which killed 19 American servicemen. "The sanctions will play poorly in Europe," says TIME's William Rademaekers. "They come at a time when unemployment is reaching 12.5 percent in France, and any impact on cancelling industrial contracts will prove difficult. The French government is asking for proof of any allegations that Iran is responsible for the explosion of TWA 800 or the Saudi bombing. Furthermore, European governments feel that they need a channel of communication with the Iranians and Libyans. For both economic and philosophical reasons, they do not want to isolate any state." Jaime FlorCruz