DATE=3/17/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-S / IRAN SANCTIONS (S) NUMBER=2-260282 BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The United States is easing certain sanctions against Iran in the biggest step Washington has taken yet toward ending two decades of hostility between both countries. Correspondent Nick Simeone reports Americans will now be allowed to buy a range of Iranian goods from carpets to caviar. TEXT: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told a meeting of Iranian-Americans that Washington senses the winds of democracy in Iran and is responding by lifting some sanctions that have been in place for more than a decade. She said it is now time to consider bringing down the walls of mistrust, as she put it, that have built up since the fall of the Shah more than 20 years ago. /// ALBRIGHT ACT /// The United States is willing either to proceed patiently on a step-by-step basis or to move very rapidly if Iran indicates a desire and commitment to do so. /// END ACT /// It is a move that analysts such as Former Carter Administration official Gary Sick expect will lead to normal ties between the two nations. /// SICK ACT /// I think it is going to result in the restoration of diplomatic relations. /// END ACT /// Still, a ban on U-S investment in Iran's oil industry remains and the Clinton Administration is not expected to lift any more sanctions until Iran drops its alleged support for terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. (SIGNED) NEB/NJS/JP 17-Mar-2000 11:01 AM EDT (17-Mar-2000 1601 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .