WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has personally appealed to senators to hold off on seeking additional sanctions on Iran while the U.S. and world powers negotiate a nuclear deal with Tehran.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who attended the White House meeting, says Obama asked lawmakers to pause for “a period of time.” Corker did not specify how long the president asked lawmakers to wait.
Corker says some lawmakers want to be able to at least announce new sanctions proposals in the coming days. But he says there will not be any sanctions amendments added before Thanksgiving to the annual defense bill, which could be the main vehicle for new imposing economic penalties.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama told the senators that if there’s not an initial agreement, Iran will keep making progress on its enrichment program. He said new sanctions would be most effective as a consequence for Iran refusing to accept a deal or forsaking its commitments under the deal.
Obama convened the meeting one day before the U.S. and five other world powers resume talks with Iran.
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