WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Barack Obama said a solution on sanctions must allow Iran’s leaders to present an “acceptable” version to their public. Obama was asked at a news conference on Friday, April 17 what his position was on phasing out sanctions as part of a nuclear deal with Iran. The agreement would exchange sanctions relief for restrictions aimed at keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Obama referred to the negotiators, including Secretary of State John Kerry and the P5+1, the acronym for the major powers in talks with Iran. “Part of John’s job and part of the Iranian negotiators’ job, and part of the P5+1’s job is to sometimes find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable,” he said.
Obama also said he was likely to sign legislation that would mandate a congressional review of any Iran deal after the bill’s sponsors deleted language opposed by his administration. The measure was approved unanimously on April 14 by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Among the stipulations in earlier versions opposed by the White House were measures that sought to shape the deal, including demands that Iran end its backing for terrorism. The White House said such provisions were a poison pill and asked for a bill that would require congressional approval and nothing else. A final Iran deal is due by June 30.