Albright Preparing to Lift Some Trade-Related Sanctions
Barber, Ben, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will lift some economic sanctions on Iran today in response to last month's election of a pro-reform parliament, a U.S. official said yesterday.
While major sanctions blocking oil imports and international financial aid will remain, the action could open the door to imports of Persian carpets, caviar and pistachio nuts.
"That is what we expect," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He noted that the State Department has taken preliminary steps this week, clearing the way for the move.
"Secretary Albright is going to address the American-Iranian Council tomorrow. The address will be a major policy address on the subject of the United States and Iran," State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said yesterday.
"There has been an important election in Iran," he said. "We have been encouraged by the success of reformers in making the case for the rule of law inside Iran. The overwhelming victory of reform candidates is a tribute to a thriving democracy in Iran."
With relations between the two countries in a deep freeze since the 1979 Iranian revolution, "Secretary Albright believes it's appropriate for the United States to respond to that election through a major policy address," Mr. Rubin said.
Mr. Rubin refused any comment on details of Mrs. Albright's remarks.
A State Department official speaking on the condition of anonymity said sanctions will not be dropped under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which targets foreign firms that invest in Iran's oil and other sectors. …