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obama-5President Obama has called on Congress to hold off on new sanctions against Iran as he and other world leaders attempt to reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Lawmakers from both parties have vowed to move ahead with a measure targeting Iranian oil exports, despite progress in recent talks. On Thursday, Obama asked Congress to wait.

President Obama: “If we’re serious about pursuing diplomacy, then there is no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective, and that brought them to the table in the first place. Now, if it turns out they can’t deliver, they can’t come to the table in a serious way and get this issue resolved, the sanctions can be ramped back up, and we’ve got that option.”

A United Nations inspection report showed Thursday that Iran has largely put the brakes on its nuclear expansion since President Hassan Rouhani was elected in the summer. Talks between Iran, the United States and five other world powers are due to resume in Geneva next week.