Former President Jimmy Carter warned it could be a "devastating blow" if Congress imposes new sanctions before the peace agreement with Iran "is consummated."
Carter made the comments during a discussion on HuffPost Live Thursday morning.
“If the sanctions are imposed before the peace agreement is consummated between the U.S. and the other countries, that would be a devastating blow," Carter said. "If they put this as a potential punishment in the future -- an increase of sanctions -- if the agreement doesn’t exist and it breaks down, that would be okay."
Many observers fear that the sanctions bill under consideration in Congress could doom diplomatic efforts and push the U.S. toward war with Iran. The bill has the support of 15 Senate Democrats despite vociferous opposition from the White House. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama urged Senate Democrats to oppose the sanctions in a closed-door meeting, days after he publicly threatened to veto any legislation enacting new sanctions.
Previously, the White House has dared Democrats who support the sanctions to admit they want war.
Carter praised Obama, saying he "has done the right thing with John Kerry in negotiating this agreement."
"I’ve always advocated that the U.S. and Iran have diplomatic relations and exchange ideas," Carter said.
"I hope [the peace agreement] will stay intact, I believe its the best approach to resolve a threat of nuclear capability that is weaponry in Iran," Carter continued.
Watch Carter's comments above, and see his entire discussion with HuffPost Live below: