Obama made the remarks during a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the White House on Monday.
“My preference is for peace and diplomacy and this is one of the reasons why I’ve sent a message to Congress that now is not the time for us to impose new sanctions,” Obama said.
“Now is the time for us to allow the diplomats and technical experts to do their work,” he added.
The US president on Sunday threatened that he would veto any legislation the Congress pushes for further sanctions.
So far, 59 senators have supported the bill that would impose more sanctions on Tehran if an interim nuclear deal recently reached in Geneva between Iran and the world powers fails.
The Senate bill was introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez and Senator Mark Kirk last month.
It proposes boycotting Iranian oil exports and the blacklisting of Iran’s mining, engineering and construction industries. It also calls for “diplomatic, military and economic support” to Israel in case Tel Aviv decides to launch an attack against Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran insists it will never negotiate under threats and pressure and if the US Congress passes any new sanctions against the country, the Geneva agreement will be dead.
On Sunday, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus German agreed to start implementing the six-month deal starting from January 20.
The deal was clinched on November 24, 2013 in the Swiss city of Geneva, under which the world powers undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.