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Opinion
Eli Lake

How the U.S. Will Ease Europe's Iran Sanctions Jitters

Critics of the deal see a campaign to reassure investors. It's not that simple.
Reassuring Europe, at least a little.

Reassuring Europe, at least a little.

Photographer: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

In the final days of the Iran negotiations in Vienna, America's European partners asked Secretary of State John Kerry for a favor. They wanted a letter from Kerry promising that the U.S. Treasury Department would consult European companies on what kinds of investment in Iran would be permissible after U.N. sanctions were lifted.   

U.S. and European diplomats involved in the negotiations tell me that the issue had been discussed on and off in negotiations throughout the talks that began at the end of 2013, but that the request for an explicit letter didn't come up until it appeared Iran was willing to agree to the nuclear bargain.