Obama said it was “demonstrable” that support for anti-Iran sanctions was waning, despite Israel’s and US Congress’ staunch opposition to the JCPOA.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Extending sanctions against Iran is futile in the face of lacking international support, US President Barack Obama said Sunday.
Speaking with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Obama defended the nuclear agreement reached on July 14 between Iran and six world powers.
“I think that the notion that… countries like Russia or China would continue to voluntarily abide by sanctions in a way that would continue to put pressure on Iran is a fantasy,” he said.
Russia, China and the United States are three of the P5+1 countries that hammered out the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after marathon talks in Vienna. Other P5+1 negotiators in the deal ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for gradual sanctions relief include France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
He added that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons clearly guards against the weaponization of nuclear power, “but it does not speak to prohibitions on peaceful nuclear power.”
“And we did not have the support of that position among our global allies who have been so critical in maintaining sanctions and applying the pressure that was necessary to get Iran to the table,” Obama stressed.
Opponents of the JCPOA argue that lifting sanctions on Tehran will embolden the country to carry out destabilizing activities in the Middle East, and that it will acquire nuclear weapons when the treaty expires in 15 years.
The Republican-controlled Congress has until September 17 to reject the deal, which Obama is likely to veto. Both the House of Representatives and Senate can override the presidential veto by securing a two-thirds majority vote.
On July 20, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution lifting its previous nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. The JCPOA envisions a five-year phaseout of conventional weapon sanctions and an eight-year phaseout of ballistic missile technology sanctions conditional to Iran’s compliance with the deal.
By Sputnik News