Europe

US says banks won't be punished for lawful business in Iran

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, and Britain's Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, second left, attend a meeting in central London, Thursday May 12, 2016. (Paul Hackett/Pool via AP)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, and Britain's Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, second left, attend a meeting in central London, Thursday May 12, 2016. (Paul Hackett/Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speak to reporters at Carlton Gardens in London Thursday, May 12, 2016, after meeting with key European bankers. Kerry is working to reassure European banks they won’t be penalized for conducting or facilitating legitimate business with Iran. (AP Photo/Josh Lederman)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speak to reporters at Carlton Gardens in London Thursday, May 12, 2016, after meeting with key European bankers. Kerry is working to reassure European banks they won’t be penalized for conducting or facilitating legitimate business with Iran. (AP Photo/Josh Lederman)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is reassuring European banks they won't be penalized for conducting or facilitating legitimate business with Iran.

Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond are meeting with key European bankers in London. They're working to clear up what Kerry says are misconceptions about U.S. sanctions on Iran that remain despite the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Kerry says some banks have been reluctant to take what they think is a risk by doing business with Iran. He says the U.S. wants to make clear that as long as banks do their "normal due diligence" to know whom they're doing business with, they won't be held to an undefined or inappropriate standard.

Hammond says there's a gap between U.S. political intentions and the reality for European banks.