White House says permanent resolution with Iran will take time
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, made the remarks on Friday during his daily press briefing. Carney responded to questions about the next round of negotiations with Iran in Geneva. He was asked if the growing support for a new Iran sanctions measure in Congress put more pressure on the U.S. to achieve a concrete result in upcoming negotiations.
Carney reiterated that the White House firmly opposed the new legislation and said a more permanent resolution with Iran will require long-term negotiations.
"A more permanent resolution to this challenge, a verifiable commitment by Iran to forsake a nuclear weapon will require further extensive negotiations," Carney said. "And the purpose of this implementation agreement is to stop Iran from making progress on its program, roll back aspects of it while these longer-term negotiations take place. That's a positive thing."
Carney said the alternative to the short-term agreement would be to allow Iran to continue to make progress on its nuclear program.
When asked if the White House was accusing Democrats like Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) of wanting to go to war with Iran by showing support for new sanctions legislation, Carney said a new sanctions bill would limit U.S. options for resolving the situation.
"If we want, as everyone does, to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon, and we make it harder if not impossible to pursue achieving that goal peacefully, then our options become very limited," Carney said. "So it's not about motive, it's about the potential outcomes that would be negative for the United States and our allies."