Menendez and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are expected to introduce legislation in the coming days that would threaten new, deeper sanctions if Iran walked away from the negotiating table without a deal before the June deadline.
But Obama said the move would be interpreted badly by Iran, as well as allies supporting the negotiations, and that the “likelihood of the entire negotiations collapsing is very high.”
If that happened, Obama said, “the risk and likelihood that” military action would be necessary to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon would increase.
“Congress will have to own that as well,” Obama said.
Obama also argued that the temporary deal — which has eased sanctions in exchange for a freeze on the development of Iran’s nuclear program — has paid dividends.
“We have not lost ground,” he said. “Iran has not accelerated its program during the time these negotiations have taken place.”
. Its hard to accelerate when you are running at 100% effort.