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Lawmakers Call On Obama To Consult Them On Iran Nuclear Deal

Source: RFE/RL

More than three-quarters of the U.S. House of Representatives has called on President Barack Obama to consult with Congress about any final deal with Iran over its nuclear activities.

The call comes in a letter signed by 342 lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, that was made public on July 10 by Republican Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the panel's top Democratic representative, Eliot Engel.

The letter says that as the July 20 deadline for a comprehensive solution to the nuclear crisis approaches, the Obama administration should have "greater consultation" with Congress on a potential sanctions-relief package that may be part of a final agreement.

Diplomats from six major powers and Iran are currently in Vienna working on a potential comprehensive agreement amid reports about remaining gaps between the two sides.

Foreign ministers from Western countries are reportedly planning to join those talks.

Those tentatively scheduled to fly in to Vienna beginning on July 12 reportedly include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Britain.

Diplomats say Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a senior official from China's Foreign Ministry could also join the talks.

But a Kremlin spokesman said in Moscow on July 10 that Lavrov's attendance had not been confirmed.

Deep divisions persist at the Vienna talks.

The United States wants deep cuts in Iran's uranium-enrichment capabilities, but Iranian negotiators are demanding that Tehran be allowed to expand enrichment activities.

With reporting by RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari in Washington, Reuters, AP, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2014 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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