The 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, along with Germany, are meeting in New York to discuss potential new sanctions on Iran over violations of international obligations concerning its nuclear program. President Barack Obama praised the focused, concerted effort by the so-called P5+1 group:
"All of whom believe that it is important for us to send a strong signal to Iran that their consistent violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as their obligations under the NPT [the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] have consequences, and that they have a better path to take."
Mr. Obama spoke at the conclusion of the nuclear security summit held in Washington on April 12th and 13th which drew leaders from forty-seven countries intent on safeguarding fissile material and keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
President Obama said that the international community will respond to Iran's continued defiance of its international obligations and emphasized that the opportunity for a more positive and better future will remain a choice for Iran's leaders:
"What sanctions do accomplish is hopefully to change the calculus of a country like Iran so that they see that there are more costs and fewer benefits to pursuing a nuclear weapons program. And in that process what we hope is, is that if those costs get high enough and the benefits are low enough, that in time they make the right decision not just for the security and prosperity of the world, but also for their own people."
President Obama said that when he spoke at the summit to Chinese President Hu Jintao, he told President Hu what he told every world leader: "Words have to mean something; there have to be some consequences. And if we are saying that the NPT [Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty] is important, if we're saying that non-proliferation is important, then when those obligations are repeatedly flouted, then it's important for the international community to come together."
Mr. Obama expressed the hope that the international community would now "move forward boldly and quickly to send the kind of message that will allow Iran to make a different calculation."