US Congress Not Authorized to Modify Deal

US Congress Not Authorized to Modify DealUS Congress Not Authorized to Modify Deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday he will assure Iranian negotiators and European allies in the upcoming nuclear talks that the US Congress does not have the authority to change a final deal with Iran.

"As far as we're concerned, Congress has no ability to change an executive agreement," Kerry said, adding that "important gaps" still remain between the sides. On the eve of fresh talks with Iran, Kerry said it is unclear whether a general agreement over Tehran's nuclear program is within reach.

"I can't tell you whether or not we can get a deal, whether we are close," Kerry told a news conference on Saturday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he attended an Egyptian investment summit, Reuters reported.

"The purpose of these negotiations is not just to get a deal, it is to get the right deal," he added.

The United States and five other major powers -- Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia -- resume negotiations with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, today. They hope to clinch a framework agreement by the end of the month.

The two sides would then seek to negotiate by June 30 a final agreement to resolve the 12-year dispute over Iran's nuclear work.

Kerry again expressed concern that a letter to Iran last week from Republican senators may have undermined the talks.

The letter warned Iran that any deal made by US President Barack Obama might last only as long as he remains in office.