US not negotiating a legally binding plan with Iran: Kerry

The US is not negotiating a legally binding plan with Iran on its nuclear weapons plan, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday, refuting reports that several of American allies are dissatisfied with the deal under talks with the Iranian regime.

PTI| Updated: Mar 12, 2015, 00:08 AM IST

Washington: The US is not negotiating a legally binding plan with Iran on its nuclear weapons plan, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday, refuting reports that several of American allies are dissatisfied with the deal under talks with the Iranian regime.

"We've been clear from the beginning. We're not negotiating a legally binding plan. We're negotiating a plan that will have in it a capacity for enforcement," Kerry told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing.

"It's incorrect when it says that Congress could actually modify the terms of an agreement at any time. That's flat wrong. They don't have the right to modify an agreement reached, executive to executive, between leaders of a country," he said in response to a question.

Kerry refuted media reports that several of the US allies and friends are unhappy with ongoing talks with Iran on the latter's nuclear weapons programme.

"That actually is flat wrong. Flat wrong," he said.

"I just came back from a meeting in the Gulf, in Riyadh. I met with King Salman, who completely supported what we're doing. I met with all of the GCC members, they all sat around a table, and they all articulated their support for what we're doing, and they believe we are better off trying to prevent them from getting a bomb diplomatically first, providing, of course, that it actually prevents them from getting that bomb.

"That's the test of this. And a whole bunch of people are trying to give this a grade before the test has even been taken," he said.

However, Kerry conceded that some countries in the region are not perfectly comfortable with the talks.

"They're nervous, they're apprehensive. Of course they are. They want to make sure that, in fact, just as members of Congress want to make sure, that the deal that is struck, if one can be struck now, will in fact prevent them from getting a weapon," he said.