Obama says White House is serious about resolving Iran situation diplomatically
Obama made the remarks on Thursday after making a statement on the Affordable Care Act in Washington. When asked if the president had reason to believe Iran would walk away from nuclear talks if Congress drew up new sanctions, Obama said the U.S. should test how wiling Iran is to resolve the situation diplomatically and peacefully.
"Let's see if this short-term, phase-one deal can be completed to our satisfaction where we're absolutely certain that while we're talking with the Iranians, they're not busy advancing their program," Obama said. "We can buy some additional months in terms of their breakout capacity. Let's test how willing they are to actually resolve this diplomatically and peacefully. We will have lost nothing if, at the end of the day, it turns out that they are not prepared to provide the international community the hard proof and assurances necessary for us to know that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon."
In return for a short-term deal, the U.S. would provide modest relief of sanctions, leaving in place the most effective core sanctions. Obama said if Iran is not prepared to resolve the situation, the entire sanctions infrastructure would remain in place.
Obama said if the U.S. is serious about pursuing a diplomatic solution, there is no need to add new sanctions on top of the very effective sanctions that compelled Iran to negotiate in the first place.