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Hundreds of US lawmakers seek role in Iran nuclear talks

Published on Jul 11, 2014 1:24 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - More than three-quarters of the US House of Representatives signed a letter sent to President Barack Obama Wednesday, insisting that lawmakers play a role in any decision to offer Iran long-term sanctions relief in connection with negotiations on Tehran's nuclear program.

The letter noted that the US Congress played a central role in enacting sanctions against Iran and insisted Congress be involved in any decision to ease sanctions.

Three hundred and forty-four of the chamber's 435 members, both Republicans and Democrats, signed the letter, which was released Thursday by California Republican Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and New York Representative Eliot Engel, the panel's top Democrat.

The letter was a strong indication of Congress' interest in the Iran talks ahead of a July 20 deadline for international negotiators to extend an interim agreement or reach a long-term pact. Many diplomats and analysts believe an extension may be needed in view of the wide gaps in negotiating positions.

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