WASHINGTON: United States President Barack Obama says negotiations to limit Iran's nuclear program will be difficult and may not succeed, but he's warning Congress he will veto new economic sanctions against Tehran while the discussions are ongoing.
Obama described the US on Tuesday as cleared-eyed about longstanding mistrust between Iran and six world powers that are working to prevent the Islamic republic from enriching enough uranium to build nuclear weapons.
But he used his State of the Union speech to give the US credit for leading the way toward an interim agreement that has all but frozen Iran's nuclear program for the first time in a decade.
“The sanctions that we put in place helped make this opportunity possible. But let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it. For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” Obama said, in his State of the Union address.
An estimated $7 billion in international sanctions against Tehran have been lifted in exchange for slowing its nuclear program.