2014-01-12T230444Z_3_CBREA0B1D4300_RTROPTP_2_USA-OBAMA-NEWSCONFERENCE

Obama hails Iran deal, argues against new sanctions

U.S. President Obama addresses year-end news conference in the White House briefing room in WashingtonBy Arshad Mohammed and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama hailed an agreement struck on Sunday to curb Iran’s nuclear program over six months and argued that imposing additional U.S. sanctions could scupper the deal. “Now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” Obama said in a written statement after the European Union said that Iran and six major powers had reached an accord to implement a November 24 nuclear agreement with Iran. That agreement is designed to curtail Iran’s nuclear activities for a six-month period beginning on January 20 in exchange for sanctions relief from the six major powers: Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Obama also urged the U.S. Congress not to impose additional sanctions on Iran, saying that doing so risked undermining the November 24 agreement, known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), which aims to give the two sides six months to reach a comprehensive deal to address all questions about whether Iran seeks nuclear arms.

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