Nov 18 2013, 8:32pm CST | by IANS
Washington, Nov 19 — US President Barack Obama is set to brief Senate leadership Tuesday on the ongoing talks with Iran as his administration is seeking to suspend sanctions against the Islamic republic to allow scope for diplomacy, the White House said Monday.
The president, who is advocating a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, will meet at the White House with Senate leadership as well as heads and ranking members of the committees on banking, foreign relations, armed services, and intelligence.
He will "provide an update on the status of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran before the next round of talks begin later this week in Geneva," reported Xinhua citing spokesperson Jay Carney at a regular news briefing.
The P5+1 refers to Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany.
"When it comes to our position on additional sanctions, I'm sure that this will be a topic because it's the president's view that it's the right thing for Congress to do to pause so that we can test whether or not the Iranians are serious about resolving this issue diplomatically," said Carney.
Some senators are mulling tougher sanctions against Iran as the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in late July to impose punitive new sanctions on the country with a view to ending all Iranian oil exports by 2015.
Obama and his top aides have argued against fresh sanctions, saying the option will lead to war with "unintended consequences".
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