Window Closing for Iran to Act, Obama, Cameron Say

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2012 — Sanc­tions and diplo­mat­ic pres­sure against Iran are work­ing and need more time, but the win­dow for Iran to act is clos­ing, British and Amer­i­can lead­ers said here today.

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and British Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron empha­sized they are unit­ed in the effort to pre­vent Iran from obtain­ing nuclear weapons. The men spoke at a news con­fer­ence after White House meet­ings.

“We believe there is still time and space to pur­sue a diplo­mat­ic solu­tion,” Oba­ma said. Britain and the Unit­ed States will con­sult close­ly with allies as the process moves for­ward, he added.

“Tehran must under­stand that it can­not escape or evade the choice before it: meet your inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions or face the con­se­quences,” the pres­i­dent said.

Cameron said Oba­ma has tak­en a “tough, rea­son­able approach” that has unit­ed the world behind the sanc­tion pro­gram.

“Britain has played a lead­ing role in help­ing to deliv­er an EU-wide oil embar­go,” the prime min­is­ter said. “Along­side the finan­cial sanc­tions being led by Amer­i­ca, this embar­go is dra­mat­i­cal­ly increas­ing the pres­sure on the regime.”

The two men reit­er­at­ed that noth­ing is off the table regard­ing the Iran­ian nuclear pro­gram. “That is essen­tial for the safe­ty of the region and the wider world,” Cameron added.

Iran’s time to act is now, Oba­ma said.

“In the past, there’s been a ten­den­cy for Iran to … delay, to stall, to do a lot of talk­ing, but not actu­al­ly move the ball for­ward,” he said. “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, the win­dow for solv­ing this issue diplo­mat­i­cal­ly is shrink­ing.”

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