Updated on August 21 at 2:12 p.m. ET
President Obama, in a letter aimed at congressional Democrats wavering over supporting the nuclear deal with Iran, says the U.S. will maintain all options, including military force, should Iran pursue nuclear weapons.
“Should Iran seek to dash toward a nuclear weapon, all of the options available to the United States — including the military option — will remain available through the life of the deal and beyond,” Obama wrote in the letter obtained by The New York Times.
The letter dated August 18 is addressed to Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, and is aimed at Democrats who have concerns about the deal the U.S. and six world powers struck with Iran over its nuclear program. Here’s more from The Times:
While many of the promises have been made before by Mr. Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and others, White House officials say the letter represents the first time that the president himself has compiled them under his name and in writing. It commits explicitly to establishing an office within the State Department to carry out the nuclear accord.
Congressman Adam Schiff of California, an influential Democrat who supports the deal, told The Times the president’s letter, in the words of the newspaper, “expanded assurances that sanctions lifted under the nuclear accord could be reimposed piece by piece, not all at once, to keep Iran in compliance.”