US President Barack Obama says he would not accept a weak nuclear deal with Iran amid pressure from Republicans and Democrats in the Senate over the ongoing nuclear negotiations.
During a meeting with a group of Democratic senators on Wednesday, the US president said the chances of a deal with Iran were less than 50-50 at this point, according to one of the senators present at the meeting.
“He said… he [Obama] wouldn’t agree to something he thought was weak or unenforceable,” Senator Dick Durbin told POLITICO on Wednesday.
“But if he comes up with an agreement and it meets his standards, he wanted us to take an honest look at it and not prejudge,” he added.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – are working hard over unresolved issues after they extended the Tuesday deadline until Friday.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an article published by The Financial Times that Tehran is seeking a fair agreement.
“The only agreement that can withstand the test of time is a balanced one. Make no mistake: any attempt to gain at the expense of others is bound to be shortlived. Iran is ready to strike a fair and balanced deal and prepared to open new horizons to address the shared challenges of far greater magnitude,” Zarif wrote.
The White House announced that Obama discussed the talks during a video conference with his national security team, Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and the US negotiating team in Vienna on Wednesday.
“The president reviewed the progress of negotiations to date, and provided guidance related to our ongoing efforts to achieve a good deal between the P5+1 and Iran that meets our requirements,” the White House said in a statement.