Iran dismisses US senators' warning on n-deal

Tehran, March 10: Iran has dismissed the warning by US Republican senators that an agreement on Iran's nuclear programme not approved by the US Congress would lapse, according to media reports on Monday.

"In our view, this letter (by the US Republican senators) has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, adding that it seemed the signatories of the letter did not understand international law, according to a Xinhua report, which cited Iranian media.


"The world is not the United States. The conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law," Zarif said.

Almost 50 Republican senators warned Iran in a letter made public on Monday that an agreement on its nuclear programme that is not approved by the US Congress could lapse as soon as President Barack Obama left the White House in less than two years.

"We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear weapons programme that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei," said the senators in the missive.

The Iranian foreign minister said that change of administration did not, in any way, relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor regarding a possible agreement on Iran's "peaceful" nuclear programme.

Many members of the US Congress are concerned, however, that the Obama administration will agree to a deal that is not strict enough, or that simply delays Iran's ability to get a nuclear weapon.

Iran and the representatives of the P5+1 Group -- that is, the US, China, France, Britain and Russia, plus Germany -- last week finalised the latest round of negotiations to achieve a pact on Iran's nuclear development.

The deal is likely to enjoin Iran to cut back its nuclear programme, reportedly for at least 10 years, in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

A comprehensive pact on the Iranian nuclear programme is to be achieved by the end of June, but both sides have said that in order to meet that deadline, they would need to reach a draft agreement by the end of March.


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