Obama Optimistic About Nuclear Deal

Obama Optimistic About Nuclear Deal Obama Optimistic About Nuclear Deal

US President Barack Obama expressed optimism that major powers and Iran could finalize a deal on Tehran's nuclear program.

On Iranian officials' demands that a final deal result in an end to all sanctions on Iran, Obama said the negotiating parties may be able to find solutions to accommodate both sides' considerations.   

"There may be ways of structuring a final deal that satisfy their pride, their optics, their politics, but meet our core practical objectives," Obama said on Saturday at a news conference on the sidelines of the Americas summit in Panama, Reuters reported.

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) reached a framework nuclear agreement on April 2 that would require Iran to limit its nuclear activities for a specified period of time and accept rigorous inspections in exchange for the West lifting economic sanctions.

Negotiators are set to finalize technical details by June 30.

"What I've always said, though, is that there's the possibility of backsliding," Obama said, noting the final deal would require tough talks and may not result in a deal that he would sign.

But he blasted some US Republican senators who have argued against the deal, including Arizona Senator John McCain, who told a conservative radio show this week that he found Iran's interpretation of the deal more credible than that of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has said sanctions would be lifted in phases and "snap back" in place if the deal is violated.

"That's not how we're supposed to run foreign policy, regardless of who is president or secretary of state," Obama said.

Obama said he has talked to the top Republican and Democratic senators on the Senate Foreign Relations committee about the role for the US Congress in assessing the final deal. Kerry is expected to brief lawmakers this week.

"What I'm concerned about is making sure that we don't prejudge it, or those who are opposed to any deal whatsoever try to use a procedural argument essentially to screw up the possibility of a deal," Obama said.