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Kerry asks Congress not to block negotiations with Iran

April 13, 2015 at 8:47 am

US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Congress on Sunday not to interfere in the talks with Iran and thus help to pave the way for a successful outcome in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme. Congress has been threatening a new set of sanctions against Tehran.

Kerry told CBS news that he would brief the legislators on Monday and Tuesday on the outline of the agreement that was reached in Lausanne on 2 April after eight days of difficult negotiations. When asked about the various statements made by Iranian officials who participated in the negotiations, on what was agreed upon in the Framework Agreement, Kerry said simply, “I will present the facts. All of what I presented is the truth, and I insist on them. At the end, the final agreement will clarify things.”

The Framework Agreement prepares the ground for a comprehensive agreement by 30 June.

The US State Department angered Iran when a list of detailed facts was published along with the announcement of the agreement’s outline in Lausanne which appeared to be different to what was understood by the Iranian officials.

According to Kerry, “there have been a number of dual stories and differences… regarding the interim agreement” which was reached in November 2013, by which Iran froze parts of its nuclear programme in return for a limited easing of sanctions. He stressed, though, that Iran is committed to the terms of the interim agreement and that it has proved that it is ready to reach an agreement and commit to it.

As Congress returns on Monday, it is expected that some of its members will call for a law making it essential for congressional approval for any agreement, with the possibility of imposing additional sanctions on Iran.

“I think that [Congress] needs to be careful and to let us negotiate without interference to be able to complete the work within the next two and a half months,” insisted the secretary of state.