Speaking in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon, President Barack Obama praised the ongoing negotiations between the United States and Iran, labeling the talks a “historic understanding.”
Answering to the many critics of the negotiations who say that the United States is not being strict enough on Iran’s nuclear energy program, Obama reassured skeptics that this was not the case.
“This framework would cut off every pathway Iran could take to obtain a nuclear weapon,” the president said.
He also subtlety hinted at warnings to Iran if the hostile nation violates any part of the deal.
“If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” Obama said.
The president also warned members of Congress to not approve new sanctions on Iran during and after the negotiation process. Members of the Republican-led Congress have voiced their outrage over the last month over the deal and have vowed to halt any chance of it passing.
“The issues at stake here are bigger than politics,” Obama said. “These are matters of war and peace, and they should be evaluated based on the facts.”
He added, “It’s the United States that will be blamed for the failure of international diplomacy.”
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate stated that they plan to act on legislation that would give Congress the authority to remove or add sanctions to Iran. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) was the first to publicly suggest the plan, followed by approval from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
"My immediate concern is the administration signaling it will provide near-term sanctions relief," Boehner said. "Congress must be allowed to fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted."
In his statement, Obama challenged these viewpoints, questioning whether a deal with Iran “is a worse option than another war in the Middle East.”
In a surprisingly bipartisan move, Democrats have supported Republican calls for Congress to review all negotiations before anything is fully approved.
“If the Iranians do not publicly agree to what the president says they’ve agreed to, then I’m ready to vote for both bills,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California).
In an effort to subdue criticism overseas, Obama also announced an invitation to the leaders of Middle Eastern nations, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain, to talk over the Iranian negotiations, the Associated Press reported.