The United States would consider relaxing certain sanctions on Iran if it engaged in confidence-building steps to prove its sincerity to negotiate over its disputed nuclear program, a top State Department official has said.
Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that there may be some elements that can be done initially if they take verifiable, concrete actions.
According to CNN, Sherman made clear the entire sanctions regime targeting Iran would not be lifted ‘any time soon’ unless concerns about Iran's nuclear program were fully addressed. Iran’s recent opening and seeming willingness to negotiate seriously over its nuclear programme is believed to be a result of crippling sanctions on its economy.
According to the report, Sherman’s comments come as members of both the Foreign Relations and Banking committees in the Senate consider additional sanctions as a way of increasing the pressure on Iran to negotiate with the United States and its international partners. While that process moves forward, Sherman said such measures should wait until the next meeting of the so-called P5+1 scheduled in Geneva later this month. Sherman will represent the United States at the meeting in Geneva.