White House Says Detained Americans Wouldn't Foil Iran Nuclear Deal

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest tells ABC's Jonathan Karl that nukes and detainees are negotiated on separate tracks.
2:07 | 01/15/15

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Transcript for White House Says Detained Americans Wouldn't Foil Iran Nuclear Deal
Yes the United States would strike a deal with the wrong on the nuclear issue even if these Americans are still being held. By Iran. We have been very clear that these two priorities have been raised on two separate tracks. But they are priorities nonetheless. And I think what's important is in the waited this question is typically asked of me. Is if we would consider. Taking. Allowing Iran to take some steps on their related to the nuclear program an exchange student taking some steps related to d.s American citizens that were very concerned about. The fact is we believe these American citizens should be released. And we also believe that Iran should take the steps that are necessary to resolve international community's concerns about their nuclear program. These are both priorities but these are both priorities that are raised. With the Iranians have separate tracks in Cuba you clearly had a case where less Cuba released mystery grows that Iraq Libya and amortization. While we continue to we that the odds of reaching a nuclear agreement are still at best 5050. Even if we are able to reach that agreement. The relationship between United States and Iran would fall fall short of normal. The United States has significant concerns with the Iranian regime not just as it relates to their treatment of these. US citizens but for a whole host of other things for their failure to respect basic human rights of their citizens for their support for terror activities around the globe. This is we have alike you know they're certainly there are rhetoric and treatment Israel who is. A very close ally of the United States and his national security to whom we are firmly committed. So there are a whole host of concerns that we have with the Iranians and even if we are able to street strike the kind of critically important nuclear agreement. That would resolve or at least remove one if the more vexing and far reaching policy challenges that exist. In this area of the world. We would still have a large number of concerns with your audience and our concerns with with Iran. You are part of a much much longer list.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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