VIENNA, Sept 26 The United States has kept its
side of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, and Tehran has no
reason to complain that Washington has not done enough on
lifting sanctions against it, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
said on Monday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that
Washington had not fulfilled its obligations under the
agreement, which places restrictions on Tehran's nuclear
activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Major foreign banks are wary of doing business with Iran
because of fears that they would violate restrictions on U.S.
banks, which are still banned from doing business with Iran
because of core U.S. sanctions that remain in force.
"The sanctions that were to be relieved have been relieved.
That's what was the commitment. That has happened." Moniz told a
news conference on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the
U.N. nuclear watchdog's member states.
"The consequences of that in terms of how many companies
make foreign direct investments in Iran is not for the
government to decide, that's for companies to decide," he said.
Iran's top envoy to the meeting, Ali Akbar Salehi, however,
repeated his government's complaint on Monday.
"Expectations regarding comprehensive and expeditious
removal of all sanctions as stipulated in the JCPOA have yet to
be met," Salehi said in a speech to the meeting, using the
deal's full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Moniz said Washington had gone beyond its obligations under
the deal, and senior U.S. officials had informed European banks
of what the lifting of sanctions meant for them, but so far only
small and medium-size banks had done business with Iran.
"Banks are going to have to have more clarity, going to have
to have more business confidence, which will take time," he
Iran is, however, exporting oil at roughly the same level as
before the sanctions were imposed, providing "a considerable
additional cash flow", he said.
Rouhani said last week the U.S. approach to sanctions in
recent months was "flawed" and "should be rectified forthwith".
What steps Iran intends to take if its demands are not met
remains unclear but Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy
Organization of Iran, said the deal's future depended on it.
"Reciprocal and full implementation of the commitments by
the five plus one is the crucial foundation of the JCPOA and the
fundamental part of the agreement for its durability," he said,
referring to the six countries that struck the deal with Iran.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy)