Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Iranian Foreign Minister: More Sanctions Would Kill Nuke Deal

Javad Zarif's statement comes right before Secretary of State John Kerry is due to testify before members of Congress who want additional sanctions with the interim agreement. By Jordain Carney

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has a warning for members of Congress wanting to pass additional sanctions against his country: Do so, and the interim agreement on its nuclear program is off.

"The entire deal is dead. We do not like to negotiate under duress," Zarif told Time, when asked about the consequences of additional sanctions even if they didn't start until after six months. "And if Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States."

Negotiators from Iran, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Russia, and China are meeting in Vienna on Monday and Tuesday to iron out the details of last month's agreement.

Zarif's comments come as Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to testify Tuesday before the House Foreign Relations Committee about the interim agreement. House members passed a package of additional sanctions earlier this year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is under pressure to allow a vote on new sanctions—a move supported by senators from both parties.

Zarif reiterated, during the interview, that the heavy-water production plant in Arak is only for peaceful purposes—an assertion that has drawn skepticism from U.S. officials.