Sweden: No reason why EU Iran sanctions will not be eased in January

MONACO Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:02am EST

A Russian worker walks past the Bushehr nuclear power plant, 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour

A Russian worker walks past the Bushehr nuclear power plant, 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour

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MONACO (Reuters) - There is no reason why the European Union could not relax some sanctions on Iran in January as part of an interim deal between Tehran and major powers to curb its nuclear program, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on Saturday.

Iran on Friday interrupted technical talks in Vienna with the six world powers over how to implement the November 24 accord, under which Tehran is to curb its atomic activities in return for limited sanctions easing.

Iran appeared to be responding to a U.S. move on Thursday to blacklist additional companies and people under existing sanctions intended to prevent Iran from obtaining the capability to make nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such aims.

Russia, which along with the United States is one of the six powers, echoed Iranian criticism that the blacklist violated the spirit of the deal.

Bildt said the U.S. decision was "not particularly helpful", but played down the seriousness of Friday's events.

"I don't think the problems in Vienna were problems. That was overblown," Bildt told Reuters on the sidelines of a World Policy Conference, a gathering of political and business leaders, in Monaco.

"I would hope we would see the lifting of the sanctions in January. I see no reason against it."

EU foreign ministers meet next week to discuss a proposal from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to ease sanctions.

The accord has been widely welcomed by Iranians but hardliners are irked by the foreign policy shift and apprehensive that they are losing influence over Iran's most powerful man, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The EU has said the timing on easing the sanctions would be coordinated with Iran since it was up to both sides to keep their bargain and it was not yet clear when decisions could be taken to change sanctions legislation.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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Comments (2)
Lemming wrote:
It’s my sincerest hopes that new sanctions on Iran will be implemented, negotiations terminated and those in the U.S. supporting a fools errand be exposed. Kerry couldn’t justify, rationalize or remotely convince myself or other politicians the interim deal with Iran was justified. Iran sponsors terror, tortures American captives and plays the Obama Administration like a fiddle pertaining to the safety of Israel along with other allies in the region. How many more times will Iran be allowed to stall, turn away inspectors and threaten our allies with annihilation?

Dec 14, 2013 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
sandtraveler wrote:
See if this feels familiar, as spoken by the Grand Ayatollah in Amazon Kindle’s new thriller The Bahrain Protocol, “Continue to ask for negotiations; invite the U.S. and European nations to the talks; sow dissention and split them from each other.” “The bomb is almost ready; lengthy negotiations will give us time to complete and test it.”

Iran’s nuclear plans are about to come to fruition, and Israel’s Jews will not live under the threat of being 15 minutes away from a Nuclear Holocaust. They will do something about it-in partnership with its former nemesis Saudi Arabia. And by the way, the U.S. will be dragged into it, kicking and screaming.

Dec 17, 2013 6:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
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