Iran would accept Obama bypassing Congress to get sanctions lifted

Watch an excerpt of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s interview airing in full on Friday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the PBS NewsHour’s chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner on Friday that Iran would “accept” President Barack Obama’s promise to lift sanctions in ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, rather than holding out for congressional action.

Negotiations between Iran and the nations known as the P5+1 — the U.S., U.K., China, France, Russia and Germany — took place this week aimed at restricting Iran’s nuclear program.

As for whether Iran would hold out for the lifting of permanent sanctions against Iran, which requires congressional action, Zarif appeared amenable to President Barack Obama lifting less restrictive sanctions instead.

“We understand the constraints that President Obama is facing,” in getting Congress to act, said Zarif. “As we don’t accept them asking us to do the impossible, we will not ask them to do the impossible.

“We do not interfere in the internal domestic politics of the United States. If President Obama promises us to do something, we will accept and respect his promise.”

When asked if Iran would back an extension to the Nov. 24 deadline for the P5+1 nations and Iran to reach a permanent deal on its nuclear program, Zarif said he wasn’t ready “to entertain that idea” at this point.

“I’m not saying that November 24 is the doomsday. I’m saying that we should put all our energy into reaching agreement by that time.”

The full interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif aired on Friday’s PBS NewsHour: