In a recent press briefing, President Barack Obama said that the opportunity still exists for a diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran’s refusal to live up to its international nuclear obligations.
Recently, Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – the P5+1 group – agreed to return to the negotiating table over the issue. Mr. Obama emphasized that this presents a chance Iran’s leaders should not waste:
“In the past there’s been a tendency for Iran in these negotiations with the P5+1 to delay, to stall, to do a lot of talking, but not actually move the ball forward. I think they should understand that because the international community has applied so many sanctions, because we have employed so many of the options that are available to us to persuade Iran to take a different course; that the window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking.”
President Obama emphasized that there are multiple reasons why he is committed to preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon:
“It would trigger a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the world; it would raise nonproliferation issues that ... carry significant risks to our national security interests; it would embolden terrorists in the region who might believe that they could act with more impunity if they were operating under the protection of Iran.”
These are issues, he said, that are important to the entire international community, and “we will do everything we can to resolve this diplomatically. But ultimately, we’ve got to have somebody on the other side of the table who’s taking this seriously,” said Mr. Obama. “And I hope that the Iranian regime understands that -- that this is their best bet for resolving this in a way that allows Iran to rejoin the community of nations and to prosper and feel secure themselves.”