Reid vows Iran will not get nuclear weapon

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday pledged to do everything in his power to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, even if it means passing a sanctions bill opposed by President Obama.

“I feel very strongly that we’re going to do everything that we can, and Iran needs to know that. They’re not going to have a nuclear weapon,” Reid told reporters Thursday.

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Obama exhorted Senate Democrats at a two-hour meeting at the White House Wednesday evening to hold off on sanctions legislation that could derail a possible long-term agreement with Iran. 

Reid said he would give the president room to work but would watch his progress closely.  

“People on both sides of this issue are working in good faith to come up with a result that’s favorable. I say the result is going to be the fact that Iran is not going to get a nuclear weapon,” he said.

The Democratic leader said he would let the Obama administration and its multilateral partners proceed with talks during a six-month stopgap deal but indicated Congress would step in, if those talks failed to produce a credible result.

“We now have this six months [which] is going to start running on the 20th of this month,” he noted.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is working with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on legislation threatening sanctions after the six-month period, said he agreed with Reid’s stance.