U.S., Iran discuss fulfilling nuclear deal pledges to Tehran

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday discussed ways of ensuring that last year’s historic nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers is implemented the way it was originally envisioned.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S., April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“We agreed we’re both working at making sure that the ... nuclear agreement is implemented in exactly the way that it is meant to be and that all the parties to that agreement get the benefits that they are supposed to get out of the agreement,” Kerry told reporters at United Nations headquarters in New York.

“We will meet again to sort of solidify what we talked about today,” he said, adding that he and Zarif would resume discussions in New York on Friday on the sidelines of a signing ceremony at the U.N. for the Paris climate agreement.

Zarif said they discussed ways to “make sure that we will draw the benefits that Iran is entitled to from the implementation of the agreement.”

Tehran’s top diplomat added that he and Kerry on Friday would discuss ways of getting their ideas into operation.

Neither Kerry nor Zarif offered any details about the ideas they discussed.

U.S. officials said on Monday that Kerry was expected to raise Tehran’s concerns over difficulties accessing the global financial system despite the lifting of some U.S. sanctions under the nuclear deal.

Iran and six world powers clinched a historic nuclear agreement in July 2015, which allowed for the easing of some sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear program.

Tehran has called on the United States to do more to remove obstacles to the banking sector so that businesses feel comfortable with investing in Iran without penalties.

Current U.S. policy bars foreign banks from clearing dollar-based transactions with Iran through U.S. banks. But U.S. officials have said the Obama administration is considering ways in which non-U.S. companies could use the dollar in some business transactions with Iran.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Monday that Kerry would also press Iran to use its influence over the Syrian government to end Syria’s five-year-old civil war.

Neither Kerry nor Zarif mentioned Syria.

Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Leslie Adler