April 18, 2016 / 4:11 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. says Kerry to meet Iran foreign minister on Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet 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, U.S. officials said on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S., April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Kerry is 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.

Iran and six world powers clinched the 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 can use the dollar in some business transactions with Iran.

“The secretary is very mindful that topic will come up, that that is very much on Foreign Minister Zarif’s mind,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing. “The secretary will be ready to talk to them about it.”

Kerry will press Iran to use its influence over the Syrian government to end Syria’s war, Kirby said, after peace talks in Geneva were halted by the opposition, which accused government forces of breaking a ceasefire in their bid to recapture the northern city of Aleppo.

“The secretary intends to raise ... ways in which Iran can get more helpful going forward in a political process,” said Kirby, adding: “We want them to use that influence in a constructive manner, towards a political solution.”

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton in Washington and Parisa Hafezi in Ankara; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Peter Cooney

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