Obama to update Senate leaders on Iran talks on Tuesday

Reuters , Monday 18 Nov 2013

US President Barack Obama will meet with Senate leaders from both parties on Tuesday ahead of international talks this week on Iran's nuclear program and as senators weigh whether to impose new sanctions on Tehran, the White House said.

Iran and six major world powers are due to meet again on Wednesday in Geneva to discuss a proposal that would ease sanctions on Tehran if it suspends some parts of a nuclear program the United States and others suspect is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

The plan has been opposed by Israel and France who want tougher sanctions to force Iran to completely dismantle its program - and also by Republicans and some of Obama's fellow Democrats in Congress, who argue that more sanctions are needed.

Obama urged Congress last week to hold off on new sanctions and sought to reassure lawmakers that any easing would be "modest" and could be quickly reversed if Iran showed it was not serious about curbing its nuclear program.

The meeting on Tuesday at the White House will include Senate leaders from both parties as well as the chairmen and ranking Republicans from the Senate banking, foreign relations, armed services and intelligence committees.

Obama would provide them with an update on the negotiations involving Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France - and Germany, Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement.

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