WASHINGTON - The United States is looking for Iran to take specific steps to slow its uranium enrichment and to open a wider window into its nuclear program, a top US official said on Thursday ahead of Oct. 15-16 negotiations with Tehran.
Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the lead US negotiator with Iran, also urged US lawmakers to hold off on imposing additional sanctions against Iran ahead of the talks.
In testimony for Congress, Sherman held out the possibility of sanctions relief for Iran, but she made it clear the United States expected concrete actions from Tehran before this could happen and said all US concerns about Iran's nuclear program must be addressed before the core sanctions could be removed.
"We will be looking for specific steps by Iran that address core issues, including but not limited to, the pace and scope of its enrichment program, the transparency of its overall nuclear program and (stockpiles) of enriched uranium," Sherman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"The Iranians in return will doubtless be seeking some relief from comprehensive international sanctions that are now in place," she added. "We have been clear that only concrete viable steps, and verifiable steps, can offer a path to sanctions relief."