News / USA

US Says Core Iran Sanctions Must Remain for Now

FILE - U. S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva.
FILE - U. S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva.
VOA News
A top U.S. official says limited sanctions relief for Iran is possible if it takes confidence-building steps to allay concerns about its nuclear program, but that fundamental measures must remain in place until all issues have been dealt with.
 
State Department Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told a Senate panel Thursday that any diplomatic engagement with Iran will be accompanied by the "vigorous enforcement" of sanctions already in place.
 
She described the measures — imposed following Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment — as "the toughest sanctions the world has ever seen" and asserted they have forced Tehran to the negotiating table.
 
"Twenty-three economies have united in significantly reducing or eliminating purchases of Iranian crude oil. Over the past 24 months, Iran's rial has depreciated by approximately 60 percent as Iran's access to the international financial sector has been largely severed."
 
But while the tough measures have worked so far, the United States government shutdown has forced the Treasury Department to furlough most employees enforcing sanctions on Iran, just as new negotiations are set to begin.
 
U.S. officials said the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, responsible for enforcing economic and trade sanctions against Iran and Syria, is being hindered because it has been pared down to a “skeleton crew.”
 
Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry expressed cautious hope about engaging with Iran over its nuclear program, but said Iran must take concrete steps to prove its sincerity. Speaking Thursday in Tokyo, Kerry said nothing will be taken at face value.
 
Fears about Iran's nuclear program remain a key issue, with Western nations and Israel saying Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has long said its program is peaceful.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama said last week in a phone call with Rouhani that he believes a comprehensive solution can be reached over Iran's nuclear program, and that the two sides are moving forward.
 
But Obama assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran must prove its sincerity through actions before getting any relief from the sanctions.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 03, 2013 11:58 AM
Kerry is somebody you can trust. He is forceful, he is aggressive, he is resolute and sets target with timeline for goals to achieve. If somebody says to Netanyahu 'Iran must prove its sincerity through actions before getting any relief from the sanctions', and his countenance shows that he wishes he did not have to say it that way, and Kerry makes it clear that nothing will be taken at face value, I will take Kerry's for authenticity. Since he came on stream he has not looked for bail out from himself or drawn a red line and trip over it. I wish he was the helmsman!

In Response

by: Sam222
October 03, 2013 1:17 PM
Anytime a politician who is involved in negotiation is setting the stage and conditions for an upcoming negotiation meeting, then, it will only tell you that he is either not serious or trying to sabotage the plan. Kerry is a politicians just like all the others. His obligations and commitments are to himself, interest groups, Club members, buddies, and when he can, fellow Americans. Colin Powell was a man that fit your description, but at the end of the day, Mr Powell was infected with the (PS) politician syndrome as he lied to the world in the wake of the 2003 Iraq war. I'm glad that Obama is trying diplomacy, but I'm cautious that Israel will energies their NeoCon party (here in the US congress) with the help of the AIPAC to sabotage the deal. They are already beginning to clip the white dove wings one feather at a time.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid