President Obama on Thursday asked Congress to hold off on imposing any new economic sanctions on Iran to give negotiators more time to forge a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
“My message to Congress has been that let’s see if this short-term, phase-one deal can be completed to our satisfaction,” Obama told reporters during a White House briefing.
“Let’s test how willing they are to actually resolve this diplomatically and peacefully,” he said.
Reuters describes it as “the most direct appeal yet for more time to pursue a diplomatic deal with Iran.”
Last weekend, negotiators in Geneva came close to a deal, but were unable to get a final agreement. They plan to meet again with Iranian representatives next week.
The Washington Post says:
“[The] diplomatic near miss has provoked a storm of protest from Israel and criticism from Republicans and some Democrats, who say the White House plans to unravel the sanctions program in return for concessions that will barely slow Iran’s march to a nuclear weapon.”