Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday said he has warned France that it would face sanctions if it seeks to revive business in Iran.
In an interview with broadcaster CNN, Kerry responded to reports that French and Turkish business delegations have travelled to Tehran in the weeks since Iran agreed to reduce some of its nuclear activities in return for the limited easing of sanctions that have squeezed the Iranian economy.
“While the French may send some business people over there, they’re not able to contravene the sanctions. They will be sanctioned if they do, and they know it. And we’ve put them on notice,” said Kerry.
US diplomat Wendy Sherman, who helped negotiate the interim deal between Iran and the international community, told Congress on Tuesday that she had spoken with French officials on the issue, and that Kerry had talked directly with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius about the trade delegation.
She said the group had been a private business delegation, not sent by the French government.
The interim nuclear deal with Iran is intended to create space for a broader, more comprehensive nuclear agreement. The US, Germany, China, Russia, France and Britain agreed to reduce sanctions a bit at a time over a six-month period – to the tune of about 6 billion dollars, a fraction of what Iran is losing in foreign income due to sanctions.
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