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Kerry asks sceptical US Congress not to impose new sanctions on Iran

Published on Dec 11, 2013 6:28 AM
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US Secretary of State John Kerry waiting to testify on the interim agreement over Iran's nuclear programme before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 10, 2013. Mr Kerry appealed to sceptical US lawmakers not to impose new sanctions on Teheran while the United States seeks to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear programme. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US Secretary of State John Kerry appealed to sceptical US lawmakers on Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013, not to impose new sanctions on Teheran while the United States seeks to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear programme.

Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives raised questions about a Nov 24 deal between Iran and six major powers under which Teheran would restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for limited relief from US economic sanctions.

The Obama administration hopes that the interim agreement, slated to last six months but renewable for a further six months by mutual consent, will provide time to negotiate a final deal with the Iranians within a year.

"We are asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and the space to do their jobs and that includes asking you while we negotiate that you hold off imposing new sanctions," Mr Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

 
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