THE NEW YORK TIMES: Kerry Rebuts Claims That U.S. Is Undercutting Iran Trade and Investment




Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday rebutted complaints that the United States is impeding others from investing and trading with Iran despite the easing of sanctions against that country under the nuclear agreement that took effect in January.

Mr. Kerry said that some businesses were misusing the United States as an excuse.

Many big banks and companies in Europe and Asia have hesitated to engage with Iran, partly for fear of inadvertently violating non-nuclear American sanctions that remain in effect against the Iranians, including severe restrictions on their use of the dollar.

The hesitancy has angered Iran, which agreed to wide restraints on its nuclear activities under the deal and had expected a huge lift to its economy in return, an outcome that has yet to happen. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has accused the United States of stealthily subverting the agreement, an assertion that American officials have denied.

In a meeting with a small group of reporters in London, where he was preparing to meet with European bankers, Mr. Kerry acknowledged “some confusion” about the rules under the agreement, but he said that the United States was happy to explain them.

“Iran has a right to the benefits of the agreement they signed up to, and if people by confusion or misinterpretation or, in some cases, disinformation are being misled, it’s appropriate for us to try to clarify that,” Mr. Kerry said in the meeting. A transcript was posted on the State Department website.