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Iran not open for business, U.S. says

Jan. 21, 2014 at 7:59 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Though Iran gets some relief from sanctions under terms of a nuclear deal, a U.S. government official said its oil sector isn't open for business.

Sanctions pressure on Iran eased Monday in response to implementation of a nuclear deal that calls on Iran to curb some of its uranium enrichment activity. The deal is part of an interim agreement reached last year between Iran and its Western negotiating partners.

A U.S. official told the Washington Post on condition of anonymity Iran gets about $4.2 billion from sanctions relief during the six-month interim period. That relief, however, is a "drop in the bucket" compared with oil revenue still off limits because of sanctions.

"Iran is not truly open for business," the official said in an interview published Monday.

There were few official responses from Iran regarding oil in the wake of the sanctions relief. A Tuesday report from the semiofficial Fars News Agency, quoting "a diplomatic source," said South Korea was pleased with the measure.

South Korea was one of the countries securing relief from sanctions for cutting back on the amount of crude oil it purchases from Iran.

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