Western Powers May Offer Iran Quick Sanctions Curbs

July 18, 2014, 6:55 a.m.

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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