White House Communications Director Jen Psaki said that the president has “no plans” to address Iran detaining 10 American sailors in the State of the Union, the president will “absolutely” tout the deal as an accomplishment, and cancelling the nuclear deal if Iran refuses to release the sailors “would not be aligned with what we want and what we want to see with the nuclear deal” on Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room.”
When asked if President Obama would address the issue during the State of the Union, Psaki stated, “There are no plans to address this issue. This is an issue, like many others, that as president of the United States and commander-in-chief of the country, we address things that come up every single day, and he’s certainly working today, even though the State of the Union is tonight. So, he’s tracking this closely, following this closely, but the State of the Union will not be about this issue.
Psaki was then questioned on whether the US will go forward with the Iranian nuclear deal if the Iranians won’t release the 10 Americans the two American vessels. She responded, “i’m not going to get ahead or predict outcomes like that. that certainly would be — would not be aligned with what we want and what we want to see with the nuclear deal. You’ve seen progress made on the nuclear deal, you know what else needs to happen, but this is a situation, again, where we’ve been in touch, we’ve been assured of their safety, that they’ll be able to move forward on their journey promptly, and that certainly is our hope.”
Anchor Wolf Blitzer then asked Psaki if President Obama will still mention the Iran nuclear deal as one of his foreign policy achievements. She said, “Absolutely, Wolf. The united states is leading around the world. we’re leading coalitions that have made incredible progress around the world on issues like climate change, bringing a number of countries together to come to agreement on a trans-pacific partnership agreement, and we’ve opened up kind of lines with Cuba, that have really changed our role and our relationships with the western hemisphere. so, he’ll certainly talk about that, as well as the steps that we all took, with a number of countries, over the course of the last couple years, to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. those are achievements that we — the united states should be proud of, he’s proud of, and we want to build on those moving forward.”
She added, “I think we’ve always said that there are still concerns we have with Iran. They are still a state sponsor of terror. They are still holding american citizens. There are things we remain concerned about, but there’s no question that, not just for the united states, but for countries in the region, that preventing them from acquiring a nuclear weapon to take steps forward, that would be hugely problematic for the world, is an achievement, and something that we should be — applaud and be proud of.”
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