WASHINGTON: As nuclear talks with Iran enter the final phase, candidates for the 2016 presidential elections in the United States are also being forced to clarify their position on this key issue.
Most Democratic candidates support the deal.
Republicans, however, are urging US President Barack Obama to walk away from the nuclear deal while he can.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who is considered the leading Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential election, backed the president.
“I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” Ms Clinton told a rally in New Hampshire.
The new deadline for concluding a deal with Iran that prevents it from making a nuclear weapon expires on Tuesday.
Earlier, the US Senate had fixed June 30 as the deadline for the P5+1 countries – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – to conclude the deal. But last week, the two sides extended the deadline to July 7.
There are indications that the negotiators may set up a new timeframe for the talks to continue.
“This is a bad thing for the president and I think he should just get smart about this, walk away from the table,” said Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate.
In an interview to CBS on Monday, he claimed that Iran was using the negotiations to move closer to a nuclear weapon and that “with the permission of the United States.”
Another Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he opposed the deal because “Iran has never kept an agreement.” In an interview to CBS, he claimed that Iran was not even following the interim agreement made earlier this year. “The interim agreement that is in place right now they aren’t living up to,” he said.
But Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic presidential candidate, urged lawmakers not to oppose the deal yet.
“Everyone is united in this idea that we have to see what the agreement is before we jump in and say where we are on it,” she said on “Face the Nation.”
Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker, also a Republican, urged US Secretary of State John Kerry not to sign a bad deal.
“We’ve gone from dismantling their program to managing proliferation,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”