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John Kerry reassures G7 powers on Iran nuclear deal

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By Sarah Taylor  with Reuters
John Kerry reassures G7 powers on Iran nuclear deal

World conflicts are expected to be the focus of the G7 summit in Luebeck, northern Germany. However, the battle between the US government and Congress over Iran seems to be at the forefront of foreign ministers’ minds.

A new compromise agreement with the White House will give Congress some input on the proposed nuclear deal with Tehran.

Some members of the mainly Republican body oppose the deal, although the Democrats seem confident it will still go ahead, as US Secretary of State John Kerry outlined.

“Looming large is the challenge of finishing the negotiation with Iran over the course of the next two and a half months,” he said. “Yesterday (April 14), there was a compromise reached in Washington regarding congressional input. 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.”

A congressional ‘no’ vote?

Prior to Kerry’s arrival, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier had expressed concern the June 30 deadline for the Iran deal may be compromised by the new US bill.

“After the arrival of the US Secretary of State here in Luebeck, we will hear and talk about the agreement between the US administration and the US Congress, which he said would have a certain influence on whether a deal with Iran can be achieved by a June 30 deadline.”

However, under the new agreement, US President Barack Obama will have the right to veto the congressional vote.

In this instance, Congress would need a two-thirds majority to override the president’s decision.

Also on the agenda

World conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine are likely to be high on the agenda. The G7 powers are also expected to discuss how to tackle extremist groups such as Boko Haram and ISIL.