WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Major powers plan to offer to
ease sanctions barring trade in gold and other precious metals
with Iran in return for Iranian steps to shut down the nation’s
newly expanded Fordow uranium enrichment plant, Western
officials said on Friday.
The officials said the offer is to be presented to Iran at
Feb. 26 talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and they acknowledged that
it represents a relatively modest update to proposals that the
six major powers put forward last year.
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Exports of U.S.
pharmaceuticals to Iran were cut in half last year, according to
data released on Friday, while overall U.S. exports to the
Islamic republic rose about 9 percent because of grain sales.
The official U.S. government statistics appear to support
the claims of sanctions lawyers and some independent experts
that financial sanctions are making it harder for Iranians to
obtain medicine despite loopholes designed to permit such trade.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Western sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program contributed to a steep drop in Tehran’s access to global sources of capital last year, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a report to Congress.
Foreign banks cut their lending exposure to Iran by the equivalent of $9.1 billion in 2012, down 53 percent, said the report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on Monday of biking around East Berlin as a 12-year-old, getting a glimpse of life behind the Iron Curtain as well as a grounding from his father, an American diplomat.
Holding up the diplomatic passport he got as a boy when his father was sent to West Berlin in 1954, Kerry, 69, made self-deprecating jokes about how much he had to learn as he greeted employees on his first working day as secretary of state.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran and Russia on Thursday to rethink their support for Syria, saying the most dire scenarios of the conflict spilling beyond its borders could come to pass.
Clinton told reporters there are signs Iran is sending more people and increasingly sophisticated weaponry to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his 22-month battle against rebels seeking to end his family’s four-decades of authoritarian rule.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The window for negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program cannot stay open for “too much longer,” outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday but she declined to provide a deadline.
“I don’t think the window can remain open for too much longer (but) I am not going to put days, weeks or months on it,” Clinton told a small group of reporters on the eve of her departure from the State Department.
WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The United States has hinted
it might try Middle East peace-making once again, but Secretary
of State-designate John Kerry is likely to move cautiously, in
contrast to U.S. President Barack Obama’s failed, high-profile
While the possibility of another failure may hang over the
White House, Kerry suggested this week that time was running out
for a two-state solution with Israel living alongside a
sovereign Palestinian state. He said it would be “disastrous” if
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton choked up on Wednesday as she defended her handling of the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi, an event that threatens to stain her legacy and any presidential hopes she may still harbor.
By turns emotional and feisty, Clinton told U.S. lawmakers that she took responsibility for the incident in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, but also defended herself.
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The United States said on
Wednesday it would like to improve relations with Venezuela,
gripped by political uncertainty following socialist President
Hugo Chavez’s fourth cancer operation, but it will “take two to
Venezuela has said it would postpone Thursday’s scheduled
inauguration for Chavez, 58, who has not been seen or heard from
since surgery in Cuba on Dec. 11. He was diagnosed with an
undisclosed type of cancer in his pelvis in June 2011.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major Russian banks should beware dealing with two blacklisted Syrian financial institutions, a senior U.S. Treasury official said, saying U.S. and other banks could shun them as a result.
The U.S. Treasury believes Russian banks continue to deal with Syria’s central bank and with the Commercial Bank of Syria, a state-owned Syrian financial institution, both of which have been blacklisted by the United States, the official said.