|U.S. says sanctions on Russia will not affect Iran nuclear talks||
TEHRAN – The spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department says that Washington’s sanctions on Russia will not affect nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group.
“The technical talks are continuing between all of the relevant countries,” Jen Psaki told reporters during her daily press briefing on Tuesday.
Iran and the 5+1 group - the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China plus Germany – are conducting negotiations to build on an interim deal struck in November, under which Tehran agreed not to expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The agreement came into force on January 20. Iran and the major powers have set a July 20 deadline to clinch a long-term deal that would lead to a gradual lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions.
The United States on Monday added new sanctions against Russia for what it called continuing provocations in Ukraine.
The new sanctions are intended to build on earlier U.S. and European visa bans and asset freezes imposed on Russian officials, including many in Putin’s inner circle.
The new measures froze the assets of seven Russian individuals and 17 companies associated with them, and prohibited any U.S. dealings with them. All were identified as closely linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Psaki also commented on a proposed $8 billion to $10 billion energy deal between Iran and Russia, saying if the reports of placing such a deal were true, “it would be of concern.”
“We don’t have any confirmation of that deal actually being in place. If it were true, it would be of concern. But we don’t have confirmation of that,” Psaki said.
Under the deal, as reported by the Iranian media, the Russians would export 500 megawatts of electricity to Iran and construct new thermal and hydroelectric generating plants and a transmission network.
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