Hold Off on More Iran Sanctions, Obama Tells Congress

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-11_b39717f63c.jpgMatt Trommer/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- President Obama made his first public statement on Thursday about recent talks to get Iran to scale back its nuclear ambitions. With the U.S. and it allies possibly getting closer to an agreement with Tehran, the president wants Congress to hold off on imposing any more economic sanctions that might undermine the delicate negotiations.

Aware that Iran has acted reasonably in the past only to suddenly turn more irrational, Obama said that U.S. policy remains unchanged about Iran developing arsenals that threaten Israel and other allies in the region.

He told reporters, "Iran cannot have nuclear weapons and I'm leaving all options on the table to make sure that we meet that goal."

According to the president, a short-term agreement would only lift a few sanctions in exchange for Iran halting its nuclear program and allowing United Nation inspections at its facilities.

Should Iran fail to meet these obligations, the White House would agree to even more stringent penalties than what's already in place.

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