US pariahs back in fold
Thursday 29 April 1999
The moves come in response to heavy pressure from US business, especially agricultural exporters, for the easing of trade relations. "I believe the change came from a lot of pressure from ... agricultural senators who want to sell their wheat," a senior US official told Reuters. But there have also been political advances, justifying the moves towards relaxing tensions.
The election of Mohammad Khatami as President of Iran, bringing a moderate to power, has helped both countries to begin to overcome their legacy of hatred and mistrust going back to the Iranian revolution. Trade between the US and Iran has been banned since 1995.
Libya recently agreed to send two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing for trial in the Netherlands and, while relations between Washington and Tripoli could hardly be said to be cordial, there is some improvement. The US and Sudan have been carrying out secret talks to explore the possibility of improving political relations.
The US also has on its books sanctions that allow it to penalise overseas companies which invest in Iran or Libya and the issue has become a subject of great controversy with Europe. British, French and Italian oil companies all plan to invest in Iran, and this has sparked US oil companies to push the administration for an easier stance as they fear they may miss a deal.
US food trading companies welcomed the announcement. Niki Trading Co said it expected the first US grain shipments to Iran in the next month or two. "It's very clear it's in the US interest to take this step and stop losing markets to competitors," said Richard Bliss, Niki's president. "There are lots of US farmers waiting out there for international sales to help stay solvent."
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Becky Watts: Four appear in court charged with hiding body parts after teenager's death
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
Professor Brian Cox brands astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick an 'outlier on the spectrum of reason'
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...