Kerry 'confident' after US Senate compromise on Iran deal
LUEBECK - Agence France-Presse
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) speaks to media on the second day of G7 foreign ministers meeting in the northern German city of Luebeck, April 15, 2015. REUTERS PhotoUS Secretary of State John Kerry on April 15 welcomed a compromise with Congress on giving lawmakers a say on any final deal on Iran's nuclear programme.
Kerry said the measure approved April 14 by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which raises the threshold for critics in Congress to block any accord with Tehran, made him "confident" ahead of a June 30 deadline.
"Yesterday there was a compromise reached in Washington regarding congressional input," he told reporters in Germany at a G7 foreign ministers' meeting.
"We are confident about our ability for the president to negotiate an agreement and to do so with ability to make the world safer."
In a display of bipartisan cooperation on what has been a divisive issue, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 19-0 in favour of allowing lawmakers to review and potentially reject the final accord.
However under the legislation, which now heads to a full Senate debate and vote, the total review period would be reduced to 52 days, from the 60 days in earlier drafts.
Contentious language obliging President Barack Obama to certify to Congress that Iran was not engaging in terrorism was also removed from the bill.
Global powers must resolve a series of technical issues by a June 30 deadline for a final deal, including the steps for lifting sanctions on Iran, and remaining questions over the possible military dimensions of its nuclear programme.
Many of the countries involved in the Iran negotiations were attending the two-day G7 meeting in the northern city of Luebeck, which will also address a range of global crises including Ukraine, Yemen and the threat posed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.