Europe

Kerry: Businesses using US sanctions as excuse to avoid Iran

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to journalists before a meeting with French Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, in Paris, Monday, May 9, 2016. Kerry has arrived in Paris for talks on the conflict in Syria. Representatives of Britain, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and the EU have also been invited in Paris Monday for a meeting in the presence of the Riad Hijab, head of the Western-backed Syrian opposition coalition, in an effort to relaunch the Syrian peace process.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to journalists before a meeting with French Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, in Paris, Monday, May 9, 2016. Kerry has arrived in Paris for talks on the conflict in Syria. Representatives of Britain, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and the EU have also been invited in Paris Monday for a meeting in the presence of the Riad Hijab, head of the Western-backed Syrian opposition coalition, in an effort to relaunch the Syrian peace process.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says businesses shouldn't use the U.S. and its sanctions against Iran as an excuse not to do business there.

Kerry is speaking to American journalists while in London. He says companies are using the U.S. as an excuse when they have other reasons to avoid the Islamic Republic.

Kerry says the U.S. is telling European banks and others that with the nuclear deal in place, Iran is open for business, with the exception of specific entities that are still sanctioned, including Iran's Revolutionary Guard. He says banks can open accounts for Iran, lend money and facilitate legitimate transactions.

Foreign businesses and countries have said they're concerned about running afoul of remaining U.S. sanctions, including a ban on Iran accessing the U.S. financial system.