Avoid new sanctions, say President Obama

Last updated 00:00 15/01/2014
DECIDER: US President Barack Obama.
Reuters
DIPLOMACY: US President Barack Obama.

Relevant offers

Americas

Diplomatic gamemanship from North Korea over Sony hacking Cubans hope to travel to US US issues worldwide travel alert, only the second of its kind President Obama declares US will retaliate against North Korea for hacking attack on Sony North Korea responsible for Sony hack - FBI Explainer: What you need to know about the latest Sony hack Driver jailed for causing fatal crash while saving ducklings US Republicans trying to block normal ties with Cuba Outrage after school replaces blind boy's cane with pool noodle Executed black teen pardoned after 70 years

President Barack Obama urged Congress on Monday to resist the temptation to approve new economic sanctions against Iran and said lawmakers instead should give diplomacy and peace a chance to work.

Many in the Senate are eager to back new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a move the White House fears would upset delicate diplomatic efforts with Tehran that just recently led to an interim agreement.

Obama raised the issue of Iran himself in speaking to reporters during an Oval Office appearance with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Obama said an interim agreement reached between Iran and world powers, including the United States, is going to be difficult and challenging.

"My preference is for peace and diplomacy and this is one of the reasons why I've sent a message to Congress that now is not the time for us to impose new sanctions," Obama said.

"Now is the time for us to allow the diplomats and technical experts to do their work."

Obama said if Tehran abides by the agreement, "then I have no doubt that it can open up extraordinary opportunities for Iran and their people."

But if they refuse, he said, then "we are in position to reverse any interim agreement and put in place additional pressure to make sure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon."

Obama said the international community will be able to monitor and verify whether the interim deal is being followed by Iran.

"And if it is not, we'll be in a strong position to respond. But what we want to do is give diplomacy a chance and give peace a chance," he said.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content