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US defers Iran sanctions as hostage hope grows

The United States said Thursday it had shelved plans to impose formal economic sanctions on Iran in hopes of speeding a diplomatic solution to the hostage crisis. The State Department linked the decision to increased signs of hope for an early resolution of the deadlock, now in its 97th day.

"The administration is holding the sanctions regulations in abeyance while diplomatic activities continue," spokesman Hodding Carter III said.

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