The Obama administration has met its sanctions relief obligations to Iran under last year's landmark nuclear deal but is willing to further clarify what is and isn't allowed in response to Iranian complaints that it's not getting all the benefits it deserves, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
Speaking after meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Oslo, Kerry said the administration had lived up to both the letter and the spirit of the agreement and had gone the extra mile to explain to foreign firms what they are now permitted to do.
"We have lifted the sanctions we said we would lift and we have completely kept faith with both the black-and-white print as well as the spirit of this effort," he said, adding, "In fact, I have personally gone beyond the absolute requirements of the lifting of sanctions to personally engage with banks and businesses and others who have a natural reluctance after several years of sanctions to move without fully understanding what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do."
Tehran continuously accuses Washington of not actively promoting relations between Iran and international business, especially banks.
On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei renewed those accusations and was backed by Zarif, who urged Washington to lift "psychological" barriers to Iran doing business.
Kerry told reporters on Wednesday he has repeatedly explained to the Iranians that there are limits on what the United States can do to encourage businesses to deal with Iran and said he thought "the supreme leader and Foreign Minister Zarif are pressing to make sure" Iran gets what it is entitled to under the deal "as rapidly as possible."
To that end, he said he believed there were areas where the U.S. could do more to show it is a good faith negotiating partner.
"I think there are places where the United States could give confidence where there is doubt," Kerry said, according to AP. "And, I feel that it is important for us if we're going to have future dealings (with Iran) or we want to have a reputation for good faith in negotiations we conduct anywhere. It's important for us to show good faith in executing this agreement and I intend to see to it that we do that."
American officials recently said that the Obama administration is considering easing financial restrictions that prohibit American dollars from being used in transactions with Iran, sparking anger among lawmakers opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran.
Some of the opposition to providing Iran with further relief is due to the fact that the Islamic Republic continues to violate UN resolutions by carrying out ballistic missile tests. In fact, the United States and its European allies recently demanded that the UN Security Council take action over Iran’s repeated ballistic missile tests, which they noted defied a United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed last year's nuclear deal.