The United States laid out aspects of sanctions relief it is willing to provide Iran amid the ongoing Vienna-based talks between world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
“[US President Joe] Biden’s administration has signaled it is open to easing sanctions against critical elements of Iran’s economy, including oil and finance,” the WSJ cited people familiar with the matter.
Diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran and Russia have been meeting regularly since early this month to discuss reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, while US diplomats are participating indirectly in the talks.
The deal was thrown into question when the US withdrew in 2018 and sanctioned Iran, which in turn started ramping up its nuclear activities.
Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for relief from US and other sanctions.
Tehran has insisted that all Trump-era sanctions on Iran be lifted before taking any real action to return to the deal, trying to get more concessions from Washington before taking any real action, especially in light of growing pressure at home due to economic hardship worsened by the US sanctions.
“The US is open to lifting terror sanctions against Iran’s central bank, its national oil and tanker companies and several key economic sectors including steel, aluminum and others,” the WSJ reported.
“Washington has also signaled potential sanctions relief for sectors including textiles, autos, shipping and insurance, all industries Iran was earmarked to gain from in the 2015 agreement,” a senior European official told WSJ.
However, officials said Washington is not currently considering lifting its “foreign terrorist organization” designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The US designated the IRGC in 2019 under former President Donald Trump’s administration. It was unprecedented move, marking the first time Washington has formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group.
- With Agencies