President Barack Obama plans to meet with a bipartisan group of Senate leaders Tuesday, hoping to dissuade them from placing further sanctions against Iran in light of the nation’s new openness towards nuclear talks.
According to Reuters, the Senate leaders will meet with Obama in the White House on Tuesday, where the president will argue that Iran is serious about nuclear negotiations and does not deserve further sanctions. If Iran backs out of scaling down its nuclear program, Obama says, Congress could always reverse its position on further sanctions.
"When it comes to our position on additional sanctions, I'm sure that this will be a topic because it's the president's view that it's the right thing for Congress to do to pause so that we can test whether or not the Iranians are serious about resolving this issue diplomatically," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday. "The [sanctions] relief that would accompany an agreement for this first phase would be modest and it would be eminently reversible."
The meeting between Obama and Senate leaders comes as Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to meet with diplomats from Iran and from China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany (the so-called P5+1) in Geneva to discuss Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran steadfastly denies that it is pursuing nuclear weapons technology, though members of the United Nations Security Council have remained skeptical. On the agenda at Geneva will be easing economic sanctions in return for Iran suspending certain programs that may be related to nuclear weapons.
Kerry told Reuters that he hopes "Iran will understand the importance of coming there prepared to create a document that can prove to the world this is a peaceful program."