Obama on Iran: No Options off the Table

Photo courtesy of Official White House Photo / Pete Souza

As the tension between Iran and the West grows over the former’s nuclear program, US President Barack Obama reiterated that he is “considering all options” in dealing with Tehran. Speaking with reporters on Thursday in comments posted on the White House website, Obama said regarding Iran that “no options off the table means I’m considering all options.”

He declined to elaborate on what those options could be. His comments come days after Iran claimed to have captured a US stealth spy drone. They also follow the Iranian mob attack on the British Embassy in Tehran, the strongest report to date by the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Iran and ensuing sanctions by the US, Europe and elsewhere. Rumors of war considerations over Iran’s nuclear program in Israel and precautionary military preparations by the UK have also made headlines.

Obama reiterated that a nuclear-armed Iran is a global concern. “If they are pursuing nuclear weapons, then I have said very clearly, that is contrary to the national security interests of the United States; it’s contrary to the national security interests of our allies, including Israel; and we are going to work with the world community to prevent that.”

Obama also said his administration has placed the toughest sanctions on Iran ever and argued the isolation and the “toughest sanctions that Iran has ever experienced” is “having an impact inside of Iran.”

Despite the tough language, Obama repeated that Iran is welcome to develop peaceful nuclear power by following international guidelines that prevent weapons development.

“Iran understands that they have a choice:  They can break that isolation by acting responsibly and foreswearing the development of nuclear weapons, which would still allow them to pursue peaceful nuclear power, like every other country that’s a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” said Obama, “or they can continue to operate in a fashion that isolates them from the entire world.”

The US leader, who famously offered an open hand to Iran if they would unclench their fist, also challenged the idea he has a policy of appeasement. Said Obama, “Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22-out-of-30 top al Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever is left out there, ask them about that.”

(By Staff, www.themideastupdate.com, December 8, 2011)