Iranian foreign minister summoned for walking with John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad ZarifRick Wilking/Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on 22 April to discuss claims from Tehran that it is receiving lower-than-expected sanctions relief.

Following the nuclear deal announced in July 2015 and implemented this January, Iran was expected to make strong financial gains, with estimates from the US Treasury putting the figure to be released from frozen assets at an initial $50bn (£34bn).

However, at an evening hosted by pro-Israeli group J Street, Kerry was reported to have said Iran had access to just $3bn, a figure the pair are sure to discuss today, as Tehran has complained that it is not receiving the agreed sanctions relief due to the limited interest of Western companies and banks in re-establishing ties with the Islamic Republic

State Department Assistant Secretary and Spokesman John Kirby was reported by Al Arabiya as saying: "In these discussions with Foreign Minister Zarif, I fully expect that they will continue to talk about the sanctions relief process, and the degree to which banks, foreign and domestic, as well as institutions foreign and domestic are evaluating their options under the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or nuclear deal)."

It has been feared by some in the US that the higher sanctions relief figure suggested by the Treasury would be used by Iran to fund terrorism, with such suggestions causing a backlash from high-profile Republicans including presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, who said he would rescind the nuclear deal if elected to office.

The meeting between Kerry and Zarif is therefore pivotal to ensuring both sides remain committed to the agreement, with the US having responded to Iran's complaints about sanctions relief limitations thus far by stressing its power to impose sanctions based on ballistic missile testing.