U.S. was clear with Iran about sanction enforcement

The U.S. was open with Iran about continuing designations in relation to economic sanctions during the P5+1 negotiation process, the State Department said on Friday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Friday during her daily press briefing. Harf responded to a question about negative comments made by both Russia and Iran that critiqued the U.S. decision to make new sanction designations. Harf said the U.S. told Iran that sanctions would continue to be enforced during the negotiation process.

"In terms of the designations, we have been very clear with the Iranians throughout the entire negotiating process - and indeed gave them notification that these new designations would be occurring - that we would continue to enforce existing sanctions, including by designating additional entities or individuals under them," Harf said. "Now, and in the Joint Plan of Action, it's very explicit that there should be no nuclear-related sanctions, but we were very clear that current sanctions would be enforced through designation."

Harf said the U.S. told Iran about the new designations on Thursday before they became public on Friday. When asked why the U.S. could not hold off on the designations for another week or 10 days, Harf said the designations happen at certain times for a variety of logistical and bureaucratic reasons.

Harf said the U.S. looked forward to all P5+1 experts getting together again to work out the issues related to the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action.