Sanctions expert to leave US team in Iran nuclear talks

US State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf

A principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the US State Department plans to leave the American negotiating team involved in talks with Iran on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Richard Nephew will leave the negotiating team to spend more time with his family, State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf told Al-Monitor on Wednesday.

“Our negotiating team has changed over time and will likely continue to do so given the grueling nature of it and the rhythm of people’s lives and other work commitments,” she added.

Harf, however, said that the negotiating team will pursue its goals and follow the policies instructed by US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“None of those changes have affected the policy or way forward — that continues at the direction of President Obama and Secretary Kerry, no matter who is on the team,” she added.

A number of other US officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions Peter Harrell, and Brooke Anderson, a senior advisor on the Iran nuclear negotiations to US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and Kerry, are also said to have plans to leave the team.

In their last round of talks, Iran and its negotiating partners, the P5+1 countries – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – wrapped up a week of intense closed-door nuclear negotiations in Vienna on November 24. The talks aimed to tackle the remaining obstacles that exist in the way of reaching a final agreement.

At the end of the talks, the two sides decided to extend their discussions for seven more months.

By Press TV


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