U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he is confident about reaching a final nuclear agreement with Iran, after President Barack Obama pledged to sign a bill that would subject the deal to U.S. congressional review.
Kerry spoke ahead of a meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers in Germany that was expected to include discussion of the negotiations, which yielded a framework deal earlier this month.
"We are confident about our ability for the president to negotiate an agreement, and to do so with the ability to make the world safer," Kerry said.
Obama said Tuesday he would sign a bill now in the U.S. Congress that would subject any final nuclear deal to congressional review with a possible vote to approve or reject the agreement.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the measure Tuesday after a bipartisan compromise that calls for a 30-day review period and for the president to certify every 90 days that Iran is living up to the deal curbing its nuclear activity. Sanctions levied by Congress would be immediately reimposed in case of a violation.
The bill now goes before the full House and Senate for approval.
Republicans sought leverage
Many Republicans had demanded lawmakers have a voice in the nuclear talks between Iran and a group that includes the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany. But Obama and Kerry cautioned that the move could push Iran away from the negotiations.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tuesday he has personally urged some U.S. senators not to impede the talks with Iran.
He also said it is too early to offer Iran what he called "rewards," in a reference to Russia's decision to lift a ban on delivering an air defense missile system to Iran.
Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.