U.S. willing to lift only financial and oil sanctions: WSJ

April 23, 2021 - 20:48

TEHRAN — As the nuclear negotiations are progressing in Vienna, there are so much to be discussed. It seems that the main dispute is over the specifics. Iran insists on removing all sanctions, but the U.S. has shown a positive signal to removing oil and finance sanctions only.

According to people familiar with the matter, the Biden administration has indicated that it is willing to ease sanctions against crucial elements of Iran's economy, such as oil and finance, in order to further narrow gaps in nuclear talks.

Despite the progress, senior diplomats have warned that weeks of tough talks over the 2015 nuclear deal lie ahead, and that progress is shaky. Domestic politics in Washington and Tehran, as well as Iran's refusal to meet directly with the U.S., complicate the talks in Vienna.

Senior officials concluded five days of talks in Vienna this week, with delegations returning home until negotiations resume next week. According to those involved in the negotiations, progress has been made as the U.S. has set out more clearly the contours of the sanctions relief it is willing to provide.
Two people connected to the delegates reported that the United States is willing to lift terror sanctions against Iran's central bank, national oil and tanker firms, and other primary economic sectors such as steel and aluminum. According to a senior European official, Washington has also indicated future sanctions relief for industries such as textiles, automobiles, transportation, and insurance, all of which Iran was expected to benefit from under the 2015 deal.

According to people familiar with the matter, U.S. officials in Vienna summarized the forms of sanctions relief being discussed, but did not provide a specific proposal.
The two countries disagree over Iran's request that the United States remove its broad "international terrorist group" classification of the IRGC. According to internal sources, the U.S. is not currently considering lifting terror sanctions against the IRGC.

According to officials, the United States' designation of Iran's Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei's office as a terrorist organization is also likely to cause friction.

An Iranian official said a return to the nuclear agreement would only end 800 new U.S. sanctions and terror designations, just about half the 1,500 that Iran estimates have been imposed on its economic sectors, institutions, companies and individuals.

SA/PA

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