Date
24 November 2017
President Barack Obama says the United States will walk away from ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran if Tehran does not meet Washington's  demands. Photo: Bloomberg
President Barack Obama says the United States will walk away from ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran if Tehran does not meet Washington's demands. Photo: Bloomberg

Obama on Iran nuke deal: We’ve narrowed our differences

President Barack Obama said the United States and Iran are a step closer to an agreement on a nuclear deal after narrowing their differences.

Obama made the remarks amid renewed Republican warning that any deal will face a tough congressional review, Reuters reported Monday.

“We have made progress in narrowing the gaps, but those gaps still exist,” Obama told CBS News’ Face The Nation.

But Obama said Washington will walk away from the negotiations if Tehran does not meet its demands.

The two sides are expected to reach a framework deal this month.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Obama against doing a “bad deal”, saying he “cannot work around Congress forever”.

Sixty-seven votes are needed to overturn any presidential veto of legislation regarding an Iran deal. The same number of votes are needed for Senate ratification of treaties negotiated by presidents with foreign countries.

McConnell said Iran is “fomenting trouble” in other Middle Eastern countries including Syria.

The negotiations center on restricting Iran’s ability to produce weapons grade nuclear materials while allowing it to develop nuclear energy.

“Iran has abided by the terms of the agreement, we know what’s happening on the ground in Iran,”Obama said.

“They have not advanced their nuclear program, we’ve been able to roll back their 20 percent highly enriched uranium during this period of time.”

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes but Washington and others fear it is covertly seeking the capacity to build a bomb.

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