By Julian Pecquet and Justin Sink - 12/10/13 02:42 PM EST
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran on Tuesday, telling a House panel it “unequivocally” served U.S. interests.
Kerry also warned the deal could unravel if lawmakers pass new sanctions.
“We're asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and space to negotiate,” Kerry told skeptical lawmakers on the House Foreign Relations panel.
Kerry said America's negotiating partners — Russia, China, France, Great Britain and Germany — could balk “if we appear to be going off on a tangent.”
Even before the hearing began, Kerry and the White House appeared to have succeeded in their effort to keep Congress from passing new sanctions against Iran, though lawmakers say the threat could return next year.