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Switzerland’s Government Denies Natural Gas Agreement With Iran

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s government denied the nation agreed to import natural gas from Iran.

Iran’s state-owned Press TV website said on April 19th that the country finalized an export deal, citing Javad Owji, deputy oil minister and head of the National Iranian Gas Co. The reports are “nonsense,” Conradin Rasi, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, said today by telephone.

Swiss gas trader EGL AG had negotiated to buy Iranian gas until talks were put on hold in 2010 as the United Nations and European Union stepped up sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Rasi said. EGL has since changed its name to Axpo Trading and has no plans to procure gas from Iran, said Daniela Biedermann, a spokeswoman for parent company Axpo Holding AG.

“The Iranians are behaving as if there are no sanctions,” Rasi said. “It’s clear to everyone that it’s impossible to implement this agreement as long as international sanctions continue.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Leigh Baldwin in Zurich at lbaldwin3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at mvera1@bloomberg.net

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