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US Senate passes Iran nuclear review bill

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US Senate passes Iran nuclear review bill
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Washington: The US Senate passed a bipartisan bill to allow Congress to review and potentially reject an international nuclear agreement with Iran.

The bill was approved 98-1 on Thursday with Republican Tom Cotton being the only naysayer on the floor, as he wants a potential deal with Iran to be presented to Congress as a treaty, Xinhua reported.

Under the Senate bill, Congress will review and vote on a nuclear pact with Iran within 30 days, during which the Obama administration cannot lift sanctions on the Islamic republic.

President Barack Obama voiced his readiness to sign such a bill after it passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month, but warned against any "poison pill" amendments made to it like the recognition of Israel's right to exist.

Cotton and Marco Rubio, another Republican senator who is running for president, tried but failed to force a vote on such an amendment.

The bill will advance to the House of Representatives for a vote, where Speaker John Boehner had voiced support for its passage.

Iran and the US, Britain, China, France, Russia plus Germany, collectively known as the P5+1 group, are racing against the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive agreement after negotiating a framework deal in early April.

Obama can veto a congressional rejection of any final deal with Iran, while both chambers of Congress could override his veto by garnering a two-thirds majority.

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