USA/Iran — Obama Applauds New U.N. Sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma today laud­ed the U.N. Secu­ri­ty Council’s deci­sion to impose new sanc­tions on Iran for vio­lat­ing its Nuclear Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty oblig­a­tions.

“This res­o­lu­tion will put in place the tough­est sanc­tions ever faced by the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment, and it sends an unmis­tak­able mes­sage about the inter­na­tion­al community’s com­mit­ment to stop­ping the spread of nuclear weapons,” Oba­ma said in the Diplo­mat­ic Room at the White House.

Oba­ma not­ed strong inter­na­tion­al sup­port for the sanc­tions, sup­port­ed in a 12–3 vote by nations from the Unit­ed States, Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin Amer­i­ca, includ­ing Rus­sia and Chi­na.

“These sanc­tions show the unit­ed view of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty that a nuclear arms race in the Mid­dle East is in nobody’s inter­est, and that nations must be held account­able for chal­leng­ing the glob­al non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime,” he said.

“Today’s sanc­tions are yet anoth­er sig­nal that if the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to under­mine the NPT and the peace that it pro­tects, then Iran will find itself more iso­lat­ed, less pros­per­ous and less secure,” Oba­ma said.

The new sanc­tions restrict Iran’s nuclear activ­i­ties, its bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram, and, for the first time, its con­ven­tion­al mil­i­tary, the pres­i­dent not­ed. They also will put a new frame­work in place to stop Iran­ian smug­gling and to crack down on Iran­ian banks and finan­cial trans­ac­tions.

Oba­ma empha­sized inter­na­tion­al res­o­lu­tion to ensur­ing the sanc­tions are “vig­or­ous­ly enforced.”

“Yet this day was not inevitable,” the pres­i­dent said, empha­siz­ing his administration’s efforts to use diplo­mat­ic chan­nels and engage­ment to address Tehran’s “deeply trou­bling” activ­i­ties.

“We offered the oppor­tu­ni­ty of a bet­ter rela­tion­ship between Iran and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty — one that reduced Iran’s polit­i­cal iso­la­tion, and increased its eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion with the rest of the world,” he said. “In short, we offered the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment the prospect of a bet­ter future for its peo­ple, if — and only if — it lives up to its inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions.”

Oba­ma empha­sized Iran’s right to access peace­ful nuclear ener­gy. “But with those rights come respon­si­bil­i­ties,” he said. “And time and again, the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment has failed to meet those respon­si­bil­i­ties.”

The pres­i­dent expressed hope that Iran will change course and live up to its NPT oblig­a­tions.

“These sanc­tions do not close the door on diplo­ma­cy. Iran con­tin­ues to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to take a dif­fer­ent and bet­ter path,” Oba­ma said. “I would like noth­ing more than to reach the day when the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment ful­fills its inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions — a day when these sanc­tions are lift­ed, pre­vi­ous sanc­tions are lift­ed, and the Iran­ian peo­ple can final­ly ful­fill the great­ness of the Iran­ian nation.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)