SearchReport: World powers in talks to lift Iran sanctions

Report: World powers in talks to lift Iran sanctions ... 13/03/2015 Politics

Keywords:#Britain, #China, #Congress, #France, #Germany, #Iran, #Iranian, #Islamic, #Islamic_Republic, #John_Kerry, #Josh_Earnest, #Obama, #Obama_administration,, #Reuters, #Russia, #Tom_Cotton, #U.N, #United_States, #White_House

By Kendall Breitman
3/12/15 6:21 PM EDT
Updated 3/13/15 12:12 AM EDT
Quiet talks to lift multilateral sanctions against Iran are underway between seven countries, according to Reuters.
Five major world powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — along with Germany and Iran, are discussing lifting U.N. sanctions on the Islamic Republic in the event of a nuclear deal, unidentified Western officials told the wire agency.
The report comes days after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 46 other Republican senators signed an open letter warning Iranian leaders that Congress “will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement.” The senators insisted that Congress must sign off on any agreements, or any deal will be just a “mere executive agreement” that “the next president could revoke … with the stroke of a pen.”
And it comes ahead of a potentially decisive round of talks that resume next week, ahead of a looming deadline that the White House, under pressure from lawmakers who want to impose even tougher sanctions against Iran, has signaled could be firmer than previous such milestones.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said in congressional testimony that the deal under discussion with Iran would not be “legally binding.”
“The senators’ letter erroneously asserts this is a legally binding plan. It is incorrect when it says that Congress can actually modify the terms of an agreement at any time,” Kerry said.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday acknowledged that if and when any deal is struck with Iran, it will be up to lawmakers to permanently roll back the U.S. sanctions regime, though the Obama administration can suspend the sanctions for a brief period.
“The administration, despite the claims that are made by some in Congress, does acknowledge that Congress will need to take a vote on these sanctions once it is decided that they have abided by commitments,” Earnest said.
U.S. officials are hoping to reach a framework deal by the end of March, and a full agreement that would last at least 10 years by June 30.
“If there’s a nuclear deal, and that’s still a big ‘if,’ we’ll want to move quickly on the U.N. sanctions issue,” one official told Reuters.
Kendall Breitman


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