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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs