U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reported some progress Tuesday on Iranian complaints that it’s not getting the sanctions relief it deserves under last year’s landmark nuclear deal.
After meeting for more than 2 1/2 hours behind closed doors, the ministers emerged saying they agreed to meet again Friday on the sidelines of a high-level U.N. ceremony to sign the climate change agreement.
At issue is implementation of the nuclear deal, which was supposed to give Iran relief from crippling economic sanctions in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.
Iran says it is locked out of the international financial system and that the U.S. isn’t fulfilling its obligations under the agreement. The White House, Treasury and the State Department have all said the U.S. has done what is required, but U.S. officials say the Obama administration is considering easing or formally clarifying financial restrictions that prevent U.S. dollars from being used in transactions that enable business with Iran.
The officials have ruled out granting Iran access to the U.S. financial system or direct access to the dollar, but they have left the door open to other steps to encourage trade that is now legal under the nuclear deal.