Two lawmakers who handle intelligence issues say President Obama’s willingness to accept a peaceful nuclear program with Iran, which would include enrichment privileges, complicates negotiations.
“I think the administration has to push for ... a peaceful program without enrichment. I wouldn’t begin the process by conceding anything on enrichment,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” show on Sunday. Schiff serves on the House Select Intelligence Committee.
“I happen to agree with my colleague. If we can have a civilian program without nuclear enrichment, then fine. That’s the goal we both share on both sides of the aisle,” McCaul said.
These statements, however, differ from what President Obama described on Saturday at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum.
"We can envision a comprehensive agreement that involves extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections but that permits Iran to have a peaceful nuclear program," Obama said.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. reached a deal that slows Iran's nuclear program for the next six months. If Iran meets the interim deal’s requirements, a final deal could be achieved, but there’s only a 50-50 chance of that outcome, Obama added.
A final deal with no enrichment would not be realistic, Obama said, and would only happen in an “ideal world.”