Saturday Oct 19, 201305:27 AM GMT
US may free up frozen Iranian assets: Official
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton meet during the first round of talks between the representatives of Iran and six world powers in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 15, 2013.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton meet during the first round of talks between the representatives of Iran and six world powers in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 15, 2013.
The US is considering a proposal to unfreeze billions of dollars of Iranian assets to reciprocate Iran's confidence-building measures over its nuclear energy program, a senior administration official says.


The administration of US President Barack Obama is weighing the possibility of easing sanctions against Iran in the wake of the recent promising talks between Tehran and six major world powers in Geneva, The New York Times website on Thursday quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The official said the proposed plan, under which Washington could free up Iran’s frozen overseas assets in installments, would “avoid the political and diplomatic risks” of repealing the international sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear energy program.

The move, still under discussion by the White House and the State Department, would also give President Obama the flexibility to respond to Iran’s proposals made during the recent Geneva talks without unraveling the sanctions, the official added.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain - plus Germany held two days of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program behind closed doors in the Swiss city of Geneva on October 15-16.

Both sides sounded an upbeat note following the meetings, where Iran tabled its proposals to end the nuclear standoff, and agreed to meet again in Geneva on November 7-8.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and the European Union using the allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran.

Iran categorically rejects the allegation, arguing that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

SF/NN/HMV
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