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Western Powers May Offer Iran Quick Sanctions Curbs

Western negotiators may float fast curbs on key Iran sanctions in a bid for additional restrictions on Tehran's disputed atomic efforts, Reuters reports.

Nations in talks with Iran are weighing whether to suggest lifting measures targeting a range of Iranian business sectors, envoys told the news service for a Thursday article. The moves would take place in exchange for additional limitations on Iran's atomic activities, which are ostensibly peaceful but could help the nation build nuclear arms.

 

"When Iran does something, then we can respond with sanctions relief," one of the envoys said. "The whole process will take years."

The news came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly suggested he was willing to consider additional sanctions aimed at closing gaps now dividing Tehran from six other negotiating countries. The sides were reportedly discussing terms for continuing nuclear negotiations beyond Sunday, when an interim atomic accord is scheduled to expire.

The proposed offer reportedly would lift economic penalties that nations could quickly re-impose over any Iranian violations of a longer-term nuclear compromise. According to one expert, international firms would want clear guidelines for implementing such terms and avoiding U.S. penalties.

 

"Overcoming the reticence of international banks to do business with Iran will require the [six powers] to issue clear regulatory guidance about which multilateral sanctions are lifted," says a written analysis by Elizabeth Rosenberg, a specialist with the Center for a New American Security.

Mark Dubowitz, head of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said any effort to "front-load relief too significantly" would prompt a "backlash" from U.S. lawmakers.

Certain U.S. business groups, though, appeared ready to resist any new congressional effort to hit Iran with new economic penalties, Foreign Policy reported on Thursday.

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