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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with a Group of Democratic Senators to Discuss Iran

Today, the Vice President hosted a meeting at the White House with a group of Democratic Senators to discuss Iran.  The Vice President was joined by members of his national security team.  The meeting lasted approximately two hours.

The Vice President emphasized that the goal of the ongoing diplomatic negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.  The current P5+1 proposal would halt the progress of Iran's nuclear program and roll it back in key respects, providing the first meaningful limits that Iran has accepted on its nuclear program in nearly a decade.  The initial, sixth month step would include significant limits on Iran's nuclear program to begin to address our most urgent concerns including Iran’s enrichment capabilities, existing stockpiles of uranium, centrifuges, and ability to produce plutonium using the Arak reactor.  The concessions Iran would make as part of a first step would also provide us with intrusive monitoring of its nuclear program.  Taken together, these measures would prevent Iran from using the cover of negotiations to continue advancing its nuclear program as we negotiate a long-term, comprehensive solution that addresses all of the international community's concerns.

The Vice President underscored that the relief we would provide Iran as part of the first step would be modest and temporary compared to the substantial, continuing impact of our sanctions, which would be vigorously enforced throughout the first step. 

The Vice President reiterated that the President has a responsibility to seek a peaceful resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon before pursuing alternatives.  The current P5+1 proposal has the potential to do just that.

Participants in today’s meeting included:

Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-CT
Senator Cory Booker, D-NJ
Senator Benjamin Cardin, D-MD
Senator Thomas Carper, D-DE
Senator Robert Casey, D-PA
Senator Al Franken, D-MN
Senator Tim Kaine, D-VA
Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV
Senator Jeff Merkley, D-OR
Senator Chris Murphy, D-CT
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA