WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry told congressmen that an interim six-month deal with Iran unequivocally served US interests and urged them to avoid imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear energy program.
Talking to the US House of Representatives foreign affairs committee, Kerry warned that new sanctions against Iran would risk the delicate diplomatic effort need for a larger deal.
Kerry urged the lawmakers to give their negotiators and experts the time and space to negotiate with Iran.
There have been some doubts in the minds of some congressmen about nuclear deal with Iran because it allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium. However, Kerry told them that they could withdraw from the deal if it appears that they are getting off the right track.
Kerry said that the goal of the current deal was to set the stage for a comprehensive, long-term agreement that would resolve the decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.
In July, the House of Representatives passed tougher sanctions against Iran, and the Senate is considering new sanctions legislation that would go into effect after the interim deal expires.
However, the Geneva accord obligates the US not to impose new sanctions during the six-month period of the deal.
On other hand, Iran has warned that if the US imposes more sanctions against Iran, the interim nuclear deal it signed with world powers will be dead.
On November 24, Iran with the US and five other world powers including Russia, China, UK, France and Germany struck a historic nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva to pave the way for the full resolution of the decade-old dispute over its nuclear energy program.
As part of the deal which would last for the six-month period only, the world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.