Obama Puts Chances of Reaching Deal With Iran at 'Less Than 50-50'

Democrat senator tells Politico U.S. president expressed degree of pessimism in closed meeting.

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U.S. President Barack Obama at the Oval Office of the White House, July 7, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Barack Obama at the Oval Office of the White House, July 7, 2015, in Washington, D.C.Credit: AP

U.S. President Barack Obama said the chances of reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program were "less than 50-50," a U.S. senator told Politico Wednesday.

In an interview with the magazine, Senator Richard "Dick" Durbin (D-Ill) said the president expressed a degree of pessimism at a White House gathering Tuesday night, as he sought to assure Senate Democrats he would not accept a bad deal out of desperation.

“He said the chances he thought were less than 50-50 at this point and that he wouldn’t agree to something he thought was weak or unenforceable,” Durbin told Politico. “But if he comes up with an agreement and it meets his standards he wanted us to take an honest look at it and not prejudge."

Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) said Obama “covered every hot topic there was,” at the working cocktail party. When it came to Iran, “he wanted to make it clear to us that if it’s a bad deal, there’s no deal.”

This is not the first time Obama has said the odds are against a deal, Politico pointed out, adding though, that "his remarks reflect the White House’s message to both the Iranians and domestic opponents that U.S. negotiators would sooner walk away than back away from Obama’s core goals."

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