World powers and Iran are likely to begin nuclear settlement talks as early as next month.
The news comes as UN inspectors are scheduled to arrive in Tehran on Saturday as part of the interim deal which comes into force on January 20.
President Obama says he is keen not to impede the diplomatic progress:
“I’ve sent a message to Congress that now is not the time for us to impose new sanctions. Now is the time for us to allow the diplomats and technical experts to do their work. We will be able to monitor and verify whether or not this agreement is followed through on and if it is not we will be in a strong position to respond.”
That response could come sooner than expected after reports that Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap. If true the deal contravenes the terms of the six month interim agreement . Washington has voiced concerns with Moscow.