TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani downplayed Wednesday the threat of US congressional action against an eventual nuclear deal, saying Tehran is not negotiating with the lawmakers but with world powers.
The US Senate foreign relations committee gave the green light Tuesday to a bill that would give Congress the right to review a possible final agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue.
The bill, expected to be adopted by Congress, would oblige President Barack Obama to give lawmakers 60 days to examine, and possibly block, a final deal.
“We do not negotiate with the US Senate; we do not negotiate with the US House of Representatives,” Rouhani in a speech in the northern city of Rasht. “We are negotiating with a group called the P5+1.”
That was a reference to the governments of US Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, along with Germany.
“What the American Senate says, what the US House of Representatives wants, what the hardliners in the US are after, what US mercenaries say in the region, has got nothing to do with our nation or our government,” he added.
Rouhani asked the great powers for a “dignified” agreement and “respect for the Iranian nation,” assuring that Tehran was “flexible” in negotiations.
On April 2, the sides reached a framework agreement for a deal.
They are expected to resume talks Tuesday on reaching a final accord by June 30.
They must resolve a series of difficult technical issues, including the timetable for a lifting of international sanctions on Iran.
“Everyone should know… there will be no agreement if there’s no end to sanctions,” Rouhani said.
Iran want sanctions lifted immediately on signature of a deal, while the powers are saying they will be eased gradually, and want a mechanism to ensure they can be swiftly reimposed if Iran breaks its word.