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Backed by Cameron, Obama Warns Congress on Iran

(Mark Wilson/Getty Images News)
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images News)

A day after privately telling Senate Democrats he would veto a new Iran sanctions bill, President Barack Obama scolded Congress to cool it, and if they don’t, he’ll take his case to the public.  

Obama said new sanctions legislation — even if the sanctions are tied to the failure of talks — would result in a “very high” risk of collapsing the talks and undermining the international coalition that has brought Iran to the table. “Just hold your fire,” Obama said, telling reporters at a joint news conference with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron that he would not accept a bad deal. He put the odds of success of the talks at less than 50 percent, but said no one doubts his ability to get Congress to pass new sanctions if the talks fail.  

“Congress needs to show patience,” he said, adding that he told Senate Democrats “I will veto a bill that comes to my desk.”  

“It’s my team at the table” carefully constructing international sanctions and setting the stage for talks years, he said, before adding, “I’ve already shown myself willing to walk away from a bad deal.”  

Obama is strongly backed by Cameron, so much so that Cameron is making calls to senators backing the president’s position. Cameron warned that the talks are far preferable to the other options — military action or letting Iran have a nuclear weapon.  

That prompted another question to Obama about whether he would put the nation on an immediate war footing if the talks fail. Obama said that he’s not planning to do so.  

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