Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenIf you’re going to meet with Merrick Garland Biden on cancer research: 'I’ve been on the other end of the need' The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE briefed a dozen Democratic senators on Wednesday on the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.
The meeting came a day after President Obama pled with chairmen and ranking members from the intelligence, defense, and banking committees to hold off on new sanctions while negotiations continued.
"The Vice President underscored that the relief we would provide Iran as part of the first step would be modest and temporary compared to the substantial, continuing impact of our sanctions, which would be vigorously enforced throughout the first step," the White House said in a statement.
Attendees included Sens. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalLawmaker calls for probe into 'unusual' Amazon cruise deaths Carter pledges probe of sex assault testimony FDA should ban powdered caffeine, Dems say MORE (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Robert CaseyBob CaseyObama-backed Dem makes gains in Pa. primary Senate introduces tariff relief bill Lawmakers react to Villanova's buzzer-beater NCAA win MORE (Pa.), Al FrankenAl FrankenSenate passes resolution honoring Prince Senators aim to bolster active shooter training Minnesota senators praise Prince on Senate floor MORE (Minn.), Tim KaineTim KaineDem senator compares Obama's moves in Syria to Putin's in Ukraine Let the Democratic veepstakes begin Clinton allies ridicule Trump's ‘America first’ doctrine MORE (Va.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPennsylvania Senate rivals use Trump, Clinton as ammunition Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Coal Country’s top lawyer takes on Obama’s EPA MORE (W.Va.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Finance: Fed steady on rates; Dems rally behind retirement rule Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico pressure builds; Big tariff vote Wednesday Senate votes to increase wind energy funding MORE (Ore.), Chris MurphyChris MurphyCory Booker is Clinton secret weapon Dem fears Iran nuke deal gives license to back Saudis Tensions high as Obama preps Saudi Arabia trip MORE (D-Conn.), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenCarter pledges probe of sex assault testimony Pentagon looks to reduce billion energy bill Senate looks for easy wins amid 2016 gridlock MORE (N.H.), and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSanders-Warren ticket would sweep the nation With either Trump or Clinton, average American loses again Elizabeth Warren stumps, raises funds for Duckworth MORE (Mass.).
During a panel hosted by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Obama said he had told lawmakers and Israel that it was important to test whether a diplomatic solution was possible.
"Let's test the proposition over the next six months we can resolve this in a diplomatic fashion while maintaining the essential sanctions architecture," Obama said.
The president said that under the proposed short-term deal, the Iranians would halt their nuclear weapons program, roll back certain elements, and subject themselves to "vigorous inspections."
Obama said, the U.S. was offering a "very modest amount of relief that is entirely subject to reinstatement if in fact they violated any part of this earlier agreement."