Kerry to see Iranian FM as nuke talks hit end phase

AP News
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Posted: Apr 26, 2015 7:58 PM
Kerry to see Iranian FM as nuke talks hit end phase

NEW YORK (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart will meet this week for the first time since they laid out the framework for a nuclear deal earlier this month.

The State Department said Kerry and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would meet Monday in New York where both men are participating in a conference at the United Nations on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The meeting comes as nuclear negotiators try to complete a comprehensive agreement by the end of June.

The State Department said that in addition to his meeting with Zarif, Kerry will also see the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan at the U.N.

In early April, Iran and world powers sealed a breakthrough agreement after months of negotiations outlining limits on Iran's nuclear program to keep it from being able to produce atomic weapons. The Islamic Republic was promised an end to years of crippling economic sanctions, but only if negotiators transform the plan into a comprehensive pact.

Talks between Iran and world powers in recent days have been marked by tough talk from the Iranians about the lifting of sanctions and rejecting U.S. demands for thorough monitoring to make sure Iran meets its obligations. That has raised questions whether Iran is talking tough as a negotiating technique as deadlines approach.

Another uncertain factor in the talks has been Congress, which has been debating a bill that would allow it to review and potentially reject any Iran nuclear deal. Some lawmakers are contemplating suggested changes that could undermine President Barack Obama's grudging acceptance of that congressional measure.