Obama says peaceful resolution with Iran is in America's national security interest
Obama made the remarks during a meeting on Tuesday with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss Iran. The president discussed the initial P5+1 proposal that would stop progress on Iran's nuclear program, roll it back in certain respects and halt the advance of the program for the first time in almost a decade. The agreement would also introduce unprecedented transparency to the country's nuclear activities while the P5+1 negotiates a comprehensive solution.
Obama said that without a first step, Iran will continue to make progress toward nuclear capacity.
"The president underscored that in the absence of a first step, Iran will continue to make progress on its nuclear program by increasing its enrichment capacity, continuing to grow its stockpile of enriched uranium, installing advanced centrifuges, and making progress on the plutonium track at the Arak reactor," the White House said.
The president dispelled rumors that Iran would receive $40 billion to $50 billion in relief from the agreement, noting the relief would be limited, temporary and reversible. He said new sanctions should not be enacted during the current negotiations, but he pointed out they would be most effective as a response if negotiations fail.
According to the White House, individuals on hand for the meeting included chairman, ranking members and other members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Armed Services Committees, Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Banking Committee. National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry were also on hand for the two-hour meeting.