Obama offers Iran a deal for sanctions relief

The U.S. and its international partners on Wednesday offered Iran “very limited, temporary, reversible sanctions relief” in exchange for a six-month freeze of its nuclear program.

The offer was shared with reporters by an Obama administration official in Geneva, Haaretz reports, and came on the eve of a new round of nuclear talks.

The White House is pressing Congress to hold off on new Iran sanctions until the end of the year as it probes the diplomatic overtures from recently elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. 

“What we're looking for is a first phase, a first step, an initial understanding that stops Iran's nuclear program from moving forward and rolls it back for first time in decades,” the official said. “We're looking for ways to put additional time on the clock” to get to a permanent agreement."

The offer faces great skepticism from Israel and its allies in the U.S. Congress.

The House voted 400-20 in July to slap new sanctions on Iran's energy sector, and Senate hawks vowed this week to follow suit, possibly through amendments to a pending defense bill.

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