US President Barack Obama has warned the new Republican-dominated Congress against additional sanctions on Iran, saying he would veto any such move.
Obama made the remarks during his sixth State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
He warned Congress that any measures to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program would result in the failure of US diplomacy.
“Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran… Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement,” Obama said.
"New sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails," he said. "That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress."
However, he also reiterated threats about keeping “all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.”
A bipartisan group of US senators is pushing a new round of sanctions on Iran and could be part of the Senate’s agenda in coming weeks.
Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said last week that the Senate will start debate soon on whether to impose new sanctions against Iran.
Iran and the P5+1 states - the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany - are making intensive efforts to narrow their differences and pave the way for a final, long-term accord aimed at putting an end to the 12-year-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Iran and the six powers wrapped up their last round of nuclear talks in Geneva on December 17, 2014, three weeks after they failed to reach a final agreement by a November 24 deadline despite making some progress.
The two sides agreed to extend their discussions for seven more months until July 1, 2015.
The scale of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions are seen as major sticking points in the talks.