The United States has taken a step toward lifting at least some sanctions against Iran, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Tehran is fulfilling its obligations in a "transparent" and "verifiable" way under an international agreement on its nuclear program. Kerry made the remarks in a letter sent to the committee on December 16.
cartoon by Salman Taheri, Iranian daily Shahrvand
On December 17, the committee's top Democrat, Senator Ben Cardin, said during a hearing that "it is likely that Iran will be in compliance and entitled to sanctions relief as early as January."
Initially, the Obama administration estimated it would not be until spring that Iran would be in compliance with the terms required for sanctions relief to begin.
The deal involving the United States, Iran, and five other world powers aims to curb Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for giving Iran access to billions in frozen assets and oil revenue.
Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
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