TEHRAN – U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman has said that the sanctions imposed on Iran have been costly to the United States and Europe.
Sherman, who is the U.S. chief negotiator in Iran’s nuclear talks, made the remarks in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour which was aired on Friday.
Asked about the economic repercussions of the sanctions against Iran for the United States and other Western countries, Sherman said, “I think it’s painful for the U.S., though I think everyone needs to remember the U.S. has a trade embargo that goes back 30 years to the time that U.S. hostages were taken in Tehran. So it really precedes the concerns about the nuclear program.
“But yes, it’s costly to America; it’s costly to Europe. It’s costly to China, to Russia, to Asia, to Africa, to everybody.”
Commenting on nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers, Sherman said, “As President Obama has said, he believes that there’s a credible basis for continuing these discussions.”
“I must say all of the negotiating partners here, including Iran, have been very serious and very focused,” she said.
Pointing to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s remarks who has said that Iran is prepared to make it absolutely transparently clear that it is not seeking to build nuclear bombs through signing onto the additional protocol on condition that the Iranian parliament ratifies the measure, the U.S. official said, “Well, certainly. Iran signing onto the additional protocol, having it ratified by the Majlis is an important step and transparency and verification will obviously be key.
“But this is the most complex negotiation I’ve ever seen. The number of elements that have to be addressed from an enrichment capacity to facilities, to research and development, to possible military dimensions, existing UN Security Council sanctions, I could go and on. It is very complicated, very technical, many pages of annexes ultimately in any final agreement.”
Elsewhere in her remarks, Sherman said, “My Iranian counterparts have been focused; they have been serious. They have been professional. We are all trying to find the space that assures the international community that Iran’s program is exclusively peaceful…”
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