MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has no plans to lift most of the existing sanctions against Iran, a US official said Tuesday ahead of a new round of talks on Iranian nuclear program.
“The oil sanctions, the financial sanctions that have been so effective in straining the Iranian economy would all remain in place,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on CNN.
She dismissed earlier media reports about a possible unfreezing of Iranian assets worth $40 billion to $50 billion.
“We’re talking about a modest amount of money, a fraction of the number that you’ve heard out there,” Rice said. She declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing negotiations.
A new round of talks about Iran’s nuclear program kicks off Wednesday in Geneva between Tehran and the “5+1” group of international negotiators comprising the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.
Iran made a new bid this year to resolve the lengthy impasse over its nuclear program, which the Western powers claim may be intended to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says it needs the program to provide energy and fuel medical reactors.
Iran and the 5+1 spoke of a possible breakthrough deal during the previous round of talks in Geneva earlier this month, but an agreement failed to materialize.