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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora