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U.S. adopts harsher tone in U.N. envoy dispute with Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States adopted a harsher tone toward Iran's proposed U.N. ambassador on Tuesday, calling Tehran's choice of Hamid Abutalebi "unacceptable" and tying him to the 1979-1981 U.S. hostage crisis in Tehran. While it did not detail what the veteran diplomat may have done during the period, when radical Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy and held 52 U.S. hostages for 444 days, the State Department for the first time linked the U.S. decision not to issue him a visa to those events.

U.S. adopts harsher tone in U.N. envoy dispute with Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States adopted a harsher tone toward Iran's proposed U.N. ambassador on Tuesday, calling Tehran's choice of Hamid Abutalebi "unacceptable" and tying him to the 1979-1981 U.S. hostage crisis in Tehran. While it did not detail what the veteran diplomat may have done during the period, when radical Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy and held 52 U.S. hostages for 444 days, the State Department for the first time linked the U.S. decision not to issue him a visa to those events.

Boeing, GE say get U.S. license to sell spare parts to Iran

By Andrea Shalal and Tim Hepher WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) - Boeing Co <BA.N>, the world's biggest airplane maker, and engine maker General Electric Co <GE.N> said on Friday they had received licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department to export certain spare parts for commercial aircraft to Iran under a temporary sanctions relief deal that began in January.

West's targeted Russian sanctions ensnare investors

By Jakub Iglewski and Megan Davies WARSAW/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Elektrobudowa, a Polish firm that builds power plants, is interested in buying its partner out of a Russian company they jointly own, but there is a problem: the partner firm is owned by a pro-Moscow Crimean politician on the EU's sanctions list. To buy out the partner would mean Elektrobudowa transferring cash or assets to the owners and that, say lawyers who specialise in sanctions law, could be interpreted as a violation of the EU measures.

Americas News Agenda for March 20

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion Tel: +1 202 414 0541 What's happening in the Americas on Thursday: + UN Security Council consults on Iran sanctions + President Obama talks economy in Florida UNITED NATIONS: The Security Council holds consultations on sanctions imposed on Iran, one day after the Islamic republic and world powers completed what both sides called a "substantive" round of nuclear talks. 1900 GMT. (IRAN-NUCLEAR-POLITICS-UN)

Americas News Agenda for March 20

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion Tel: +1 202 414 0541 What's happening in the Americas on Thursday: + UN Security Council consults on Iran sanctions + President Obama talks economy in Florida UNITED NATIONS: The Security Council holds consultations on sanctions imposed on Iran, one day after the Islamic republic and world powers completed what both sides called a "substantive" round of nuclear talks. 1900 GMT. (IRAN-NUCLEAR-POLITICS-UN)

West readies sanctions riposte after Crimea vote

The European Union was getting set to unfurl a wave of sanctions against Russia on Sunday after a referendum on the fate of Crimea went ahead despite bitter Western opposition. The West's riposte will come early Monday when EU foreign ministers converge in Brussels with visa bans and asset freezes for some of Russia's leading figures likely in the cards. Similar sanctions by the United States will follow after talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov failed to bridge differences on Friday.

West readies sanctions riposte after Crimea vote

The European Union was getting set to unfurl a first wave of sanctions against Russia on Sunday after a referendum on the fate of Crimea went ahead despite bitter Western opposition. The West's riposte will come early Monday when EU foreign ministers converge in Brussels with visa bans and asset freezes for some of Russia's leading figures likely in the cards. Similar sanctions by the United States will follow after talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov failed to bridge differences on Friday.

Iran faces 'tough decisions' at nuclear talks

Iran has to take some "tough decisions" as world powers seek to hammer out a nuclear deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday with negotiations due to resume next week. His comments came as he was grilled by US lawmakers over the talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group, which are due to start up again in Vienna on Monday. Under a six-month interim deal, Iran agreed to freeze its uranium enrichment program in return for sanctions relief worth some $6-7 billion, including the transfer of some $4.2 billion in frozen overseas funds.

Iran, Japan hold 'fruitful' talks on frozen assets

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday he had held "constructive and fruitful" talks in Japan on repatriating some of Tehran's assets frozen under international sanctions. Iran and world powers reached a deal in November under which Tehran agreed to temporarily curb parts of its controversial nuclear programme in exchange for limited relief from international sanctions, which included effectively shutting Iran out of the international banking system.
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