Options, including military force, remain open against Iran: US
Washington: US Monday said that all options - including military force - remain on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and asked Tehran to abide by its international obligations.
"President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad says foolish, offensive and sometimes unintelligible things with great regularity. What he should focus on is the failure of his government of Iran to abide by its international obligations, to abide by UN Security Council resolutions," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters here.
"That failure has resulted, because of the President's leadership in unprecedented pressure being applied to Tehran, being applied to Ahmadinejad's government, that has resulted in diplomatic isolation, as well as extreme economic consequences for Iran. And that pressure continues," he said.
The White House statement came just before President Barack Obama left for New York to attend the 67th annual session of the UN General Assembly.
"We, with our international partners, are regularly taking steps to increase pressure through punitive sanctions and other means on Tehran as we continue with the effort to try to compel Iran to make that choice to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions; to abide by its international obligations; and to, through doing that, have an opportunity to rejoin the community of nations. Thus far, Iran has failed to do that, and so the pressure will continue," he said.
"And let me be very clear, as the President has been, every option available, and that includes a military option, remains on the table when it comes to keeping the president's commitment to Iran not acquiring a nuclear weapon," Carney said, adding this would be one of the issues that Obama would include in his address to the UN General Assembly tomorrow.
Giving a preview of Obama's speech, Carney said he would expect the president to address the recent unrest in the Muslim world, and the broader context of the democratic transitions in the Arab world.
"As he has in recent days, the President will make it clear that we reject the views in the video that has caused offense in the Muslim world, while also underscoring that violence is never acceptable -- a message that has been echoed by the leaders he has personally reached out to in places like Egypt, Libya and Yemen," he said.
Obama will also send a clear message that the United States will never retreat from the world.
"The United States will bring justice to those who harm Americans and the United States will stand strongly for our democratic values abroad," he said.
"With respect to Iran, we have consistently framed that issue around Iran's profound failure to meet its international obligations with respect to its nuclear programs. Therefore, the UN General Assembly presents another opportunity for him to underscore that Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon," the spokesman said.
Carney said it's a real moment for the US to assert its values and its leadership role to make clear where the US stand in the midst of this remarkable period of transformation in the Arab world, how US leadership, combined with the leadership of other nations, is helping the peoples of that region overcome decades of tyranny and move towards democratic forms of government that are more responsive to their aspirations, that respect the rights of women and minorities.
"He will also address the most recent unrest, the fact that the US government condemns and finds reprehensible the content of the video, the anti-Muslim video, but that the US government was not responsible for it and it is absolutely our position that there is never justification for the kinds of violence, for any violence in response to a video. He'll make that clear, as well," he said.