Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Tech: Meet the key players for Trump on tech | Patent chief staying on | Kerry aide goes to Snapchat | Uber's M settlement Biden's farewell message: Serving as VP has been my 'greatest honor' From credit cards to student loans, don't forget Obama's small victories 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 BlumenthalJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Dem senator: Trump nominees 'sad' Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets MORE (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Robert CaseyBob CaseyLive coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Live coverage: Tom Price's confirmation hearing Senate Democrats brace for Trump era MORE (Pa.), Al FrankenAl FrankenJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Overnight Energy: Perry makes his case to lead Energy Dept. | Dems alarmed by spending cut plans Dems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts MORE (Minn.), Tim KaineTim KaineDecaying DC bridge puts spotlight on Trump plan Booker to vote against Tillerson Senate Democrats brace for Trump era MORE (Va.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Cybersecurity: Dems split on Manning decision | Assange looking to make deal What we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Manning commutation sparks Democratic criticism MORE (W.Va.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Senate Dems want Trump to withdraw from Pacific trade deal MORE (Ore.), Chris MurphyChris MurphyLive coverage of Trump's inauguration Dem senator: DeVos ‘sends shivers down the spine’ Overnight Defense: Obama defends Manning commutation after backlash | Mattis clears Senate panel MORE (D-Conn.), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenTrump poised to reinstate 'global gag rule' on Roe v. Wade anniversary: report Trump country Dem takes risk by skipping swearing-in 5 billion reasons Rex Tillerson is wrong MORE (N.H.), and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBooker is taking orders from corporate pharmaceuticals Major progressive group unveils first 2018 Senate endorsements Overnight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing 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."