U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on Tuesday to discuss implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and ways Tehran can use its influence to end Syria’s civil war, officials said.
Kerry was expected to raise Tehran’s concerns over difficulties with accessing the global financial system despite the lifting of some U.S. sanctions under the nuclear deal, U.S. officials said on Monday.
Kerry and Zarif, who were talking behind closed doors at the Manhattan headquarters of the United Nations, declined to comment to reporters on their way into the meeting.
Iran and six world powers clinched an 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.