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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid