https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of ... est-872015
The question is by Mark somebody.
PS: only Mark I could find in the current White House Press Corps is Mark Knoller of CBS Radio News.
Q And secondly, several times from this podium you have said that countries like India, Japan, South Korea are not going to be part of any additional sanctions against Iran if this deal is not (inaudible.) Is this based on a reduction of --
MR. EARNEST: Well, I think it’s both. And let me explain to you why. You’ll recall that when these sanctions were originally put in place three or four years ago that the United States traveled around the world including to India, sat down with the Indian government and asked them to curtail the amount of Iranian oil that they imported into the country. And we acknowledged in the context of those discussions that this would be an economic sacrifice that the people of India and that the economy of India would have to make. But Indian leaders agreed to it by saying that this is something that they were willing to do if they can advance our effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy.
In essence, that was the agreement -- that countries like India had agreed that they would take these steps, even at their own expense, to try to reach this broader international agreement. And the good news is that that agreement has been reached. And it is an agreement that is supported by the international community -- 99 percent of the world, as the President has described it.
And that’s why it would be so damaging to the standing of the United States for the United States Congress to act unilaterally to kill this deal. No longer would countries like India, who have been making a substantial sacrifice over the years, have any interest or incentive to continue to enforce those sanctions against Iran. There is no basis, there is no credible claim for why they would be willing to do that. And there is no denying the significant negative impact on United States credibility for the United States to be isolated in this way.
That’s why the President has said if Congress were to move forward to kill this deal or kill this agreement, it would, in fact, yield a better deal for Iran. Because what we would see is that Iran would get sanctions relief; they would have the ability to sell oil to India and get the proceeds of doing so without having to reduce their nuclear stockpile by 98 percent, without having to put 13,000 centrifuges in storage, without having to gut their heavy-water plutonium reactor, and without having to submit to the most intrusive set of inspections that have ever been imposed on a country’s nuclear program.
That’s why I’ve long said that the case before Congress is that Iran is going to get sanctions relief. The question is whether or not the United States and the international community is going to get anything for it. And that is ultimately the choice before members of Congress right now, and it’s why we continue to be confident that we’ll be able to build substantial support -- at least in the Democratic caucus -- in both the House and the Senate in support of this agreement.
Q Thanks very much. Two questions. One, there are so many engagements going on between U.S.-India relations and including Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Nisha Desai made statements in New York, and also I got email from Ambassador Richard Verma from the U.S. Embassy in Delhi where he said that under his administration, during his six months in India, the embassy staff has done so much as far as U.S.-India relations are concerned in space and trade and other matters. My question is here, now, Silicon Valley is ready to welcome Prime Minister Modi next month in a huge celebration and function like in New York he received a welcome. Has the Prime Minister has been invited to the White House by President Obama before he leaves for the celebration of the U.N. 70th anniversary in New York?
MR. EARNEST: Goyal, I’m not aware of any planned visits by Prime Minister Modi to the White House in conjunction with his travel to the United States for the U.N. General Assembly.
Q Second, this week marks the third anniversary of the hate crimes at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sikh gurdwara. Tomorrow, the members of the Sikh community is going to march from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol and the White House. And several lawmakers also registered, including Congressman Joe Crowley, against hate crimes against the Sikh community. Any statement from the President? Also if anything has been done? Because they are asking anything for their safety because of their look.
MR. EARNEST: Well, Goyal, when this event -- when this tragic event originally occurred, we expressed our profound sorry at the innocent loss of life and offered our sincere condolences to the families of those who have loved ones that were killed in this vicious attack. And I think what I would remind you of is that this administration has made countering violent extremism like the violent extremism that we saw in Oak Creek, Wisconsin a top priority. And this kind of extremism manifests itself in a variety of ways. And this administration is determined to work effectively with local elected officials and local law enforcement and with community leaders across the country in communities large and small to counter it.
And this is a challenge and a risk that the administration doesn't take lightly. And our efforts, thanks to the good, hard work of our national security professionals continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to try to protect the American people.
Q And finally, my personal greetings and happy birthday to the President and I wish him all the best and God bless him.
MR. EARNEST: Thank you, Goyal.