U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke on Tuesday about their expectations for the next round of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, the White House said.
“On Iran, the president and prime minister reiterated their support for the P5+1’s unified proposal and discussed their expectations for the next round of talks,” the White House said, according to Reuters news agency.
The call came after a warning that America could be boxed into a “march to war” if it chooses to tighten sanctions on Iran and derail a diplomatic push to limit Tehran’s nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday.
In the statement, which was directed at U.S. lawmakers, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: “The American people do not want a march to war.”
The warning marked a significant toughening of Obama’s stance towards Congress as he prepares to resume high-stakes nuclear diplomacy with Iran later this month, according to Agence France-Presse.
Carney said Americans “justifiably and understandably prefer a peaceful solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and this agreement, if it’s achieved, has the potential to do that.”
“The alternative is military action,” Carney said.
“It is important to understand that if pursuing a resolution diplomatically is disallowed or ruled out, what options then do we and our allies have to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?”
Talks between Iran and six world powers, the P5+1, in Geneva last week failed to reach an interim deal to halt its program. Still, Obama has vowed he will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.
Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to make the case for continued diplomacy.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk, however, argued that sanctions remained the best way to avoid war and ensure Iran did not get nuclear weapons.
“The American people should not be forced to choose between military action and a bad deal that accepts a nuclear Iran,” he said, according to AFP.
(With AFP and Reuters)