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U.S. envoy: Iran sanctions relief around $6 billion

The United Stated have proposed to Iran a sanction relief package worth approximately $6 billion

Published: Updated:

A package of sanctions relief being proposed to Iran in return for reining in its suspect nuclear program is worth around $6 billion, a top US official confirmed Thursday.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was asked by CNN about reports that have estimated the proposal on the table from global powers as anywhere from $50 billion to $6 billion.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics, especially while .... Negotiators are at it right now in Geneva,” Power replied.
“But I will say the larger numbers are wildly exaggerated and your lower number is closer to what we’re talking about.”

The United States, backed by Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, are leading negotiations with Iran in Geneva on a six-month interim deal that offers relief from the crippling sanctions in return for Iran halting its uranium enrichment and giving access to its secretive nuclear program.

Such relief is likely to come in the form of unblocking some of the $100 billion in Iranian reserves from oil sales, most of which is frozen in bank accounts around the world.

It is possible there could also be an easing of some restrictions on oil sales, which U.S. officials estimate has been costing the Islamic republic some $5 billion a month in lost revenue.

But Power stressed that if there were any easing of the sanctions "we can slap that back on immediately."

“We’re keeping the crippling sanctions architecture in place, including the one in our neighborhood here in New York which has been so biting and crippling which is the multilateral sanctions architecture at the U.N..”