Iran's foreign minister said on Monday that a nuclear deal can be finalized within six months if there is "good will" and that he's not worried about the possibility that the U.S. may impose new sanctions.
The new remarks from Mohammad Javad Zarif came in a speech to the German Council on Foreign Relations. "With good will we can reach an agreement within six months," he said. "I don't fear a decision in the U.S. Congress ... The U.S. president has promised to veto it."
In his State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama said he would veto any legislation passed by Congress that threatened the negotiations with Iran. Some U.S. senators have co-sponsored a bill that would set new economic sanctions on Iran if the current talks fail. The bill is currently stalled, but Iran has said it would pull back from the negotiating table it the bill becomes law.
On Sunday, Zarif met with Secretary of State John Kerry and representatives other world powers working with Iran to secure a deal. He said the Islamic Republic was committed to moving forward with negotiations in order to reach a "balanced" long-term agreement: "I think the opportunity is there, and I think we need to seize it."
A preliminary deal for Iran to scale back its nuclear program in return for an easing of crippling economic sanctions was reached in November under the stipulation that a more final resolution would be negotiated within the six months that followed.