President Obama Doesn’t Rule Out Military Option in Iran
President Obama didn’t rule out a military option with Iran to deal with its nuclear program at a press conference Sunday. He said that sanctions have had “enormous bite and scope” so far and vowed to pursue diplomatic avenues but re-emphasized that all options are available.
“We are not taking any options off the table. Iran with nuclear weapons would pose a threat not only to the region but also to the United States,” Obama said.
The comments came after wrapping up a weekend at the Asia-Pacific economic summit where he met with world leaders to address economic and security issues.
Russia and China doubted a recent IAEA report and said they weren’t on board for more sanctions. Obama met with Russian President Dimtri Medvedev and Chinese President Hu on Saturday. In the meetings Obama said the countries don’t disagree on the outcome, even if the IAEA report doesn’t hold credence for them. He noted they’d be looking at other options on how to move forward with them.
In response to a GOP debate Saturday night where candidate Mitt Romney said that if Obama was re-elected, Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon, the president said he was not going to get in the practice of responding to individual comments in the Republican debates until there is a nominee. He said that despite responding to one about waterboarding, which he said “is torture – period,” adding that it’s not something the U.S. engages in. However, he did not talk about a specific GOP candidate in his response.