U.S. to offer Iran sanctions relief in return for steps to stop nuke program

The White House issued a rare public statement Wednesday night indicating it was seeking a “phased approach” to the Iranian nuclear issue that would offer Iran “limited and reversible” sanctions relief in exchange for a halt to further progress in Iran’s nuclear program.

A fresh round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – is due to begin in Geneva on Thursday.

“The P5+1 is engaged in serious and substantive negotiations with Iran that offer the possibility of a verifiable diplomatic agreement that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” said National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan. “We are not going to comment on specifics. In general, the P5+1 is focused on developing a phased approach that in the first step halts Iran’s nuclear program from moving forward and potentially rolls back parts of it.”