Key U.S. senator ‘very happy’ Iran nuclear talks will go on

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Thursday he did not see the continuation of Iran nuclear talks as a problem for U.S. lawmakers, who have the opportunity to vote on a deal after one is reached.

“I’m very happy that we’re not rushing to a place and taking shortcuts on the remaining issues that are left. That is to me a very good thing,” the panel’s chairman, Republican Senator Bob Corker, told reporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Corker spoke just after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna that the talks were continuing, an indication that negotiators were not going to meet a midnight (0400 GMT Friday) deadline to submit a final deal to Congress and begin a 30-day period in which lawmakers can vote on it.

The review period extends to 60 days if the deadline is missed.

Corker said lawmakers had not yet decided how they would respond to an agreement, if there is one.

“We want to read the agreement,” Corker said, but he added lawmakers had begun talks about the path forward.

“We are trying to work through all the machinations, not knowing exactly when it comes,” he said.

Corker wrote the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015, which gives Congress the right to review a nuclear agreement with Tehran. Under the law, Congress can try to pass a resolution of disapproval, which would take away President Barack Obama’s right to temporarily waive many sanctions imposed on Iran.

United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have been negotiating with Iran to reach a long-term deal under which Tehran would its curb nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

By Reuters