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)