Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama on Iran

On July 15, presumed Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama delivered a speech on national security entitled "A New Strategy for a New World." During the speech, Senator Obama laid out his strategy for making America safer; ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban; securing nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Regarding his strategy on Iran, Obama stated:

"By keeping our commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we’ll be in a better position to press nations like North Korea and Iran to keep theirs. In particular, it will give us more credibility and leverage in dealing with Iran.

"We cannot tolerate nuclear weapons in the hands of nations that support terror. Preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a vital national security interest of the United States. No tool of statecraft should be taken off the table, but Senator McCain would continue a failed policy that has seen Iran strengthen its position, advance its nuclear program, and stockpile 150 kilos of low enriched uranium. I will use all elements of American power to pressure the Iranian regime, starting with aggressive, principled and direct diplomacy – diplomacy backed with strong sanctions and without preconditions.

"There will be careful preparation. I commend the work of our European allies on this important matter, and we should be full partners in that effort. Ultimately the measure of any effort is whether it leads to a change in Iranian behavior. That’s why we must pursue these tough negotiations in full coordination with our allies, bringing to bear our full influence – including, if it will advance our interests, my meeting with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing.

"We will pursue this diplomacy with no illusions about the Iranian regime. Instead, we will present a clear choice. If you abandon your nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives. If you refuse, then we will ratchet up the pressure, with stronger unilateral sanctions; stronger multilateral sanctions in the Security Council, and sustained action outside the UN to isolate the Iranian regime. That’s the diplomacy we need. And the Iranians should negotiate now; by waiting, they will only face mounting pressure.

"The surest way to increase our leverage against Iran in the long-run is to stop bankrolling its ambitions. That will depend on achieving my fourth goal: ending the tyranny of oil in our time."

2 comments:

Plutonium Page said...

Dear Senator Obama,

You can't make a nuclear weapon with LEU.

You should know better.

Sincerely,

Page van der Linden

Carah Ong said...

Thank you for pointing out the LEU comment, Page. It seems that the Obama campaign has become more concerned about couching its calls for diplomacy with tough rhetoric against Iran rather than fact-checking.