Statement of Senator Barack Obama on Additional Sanctions on Iran
"I welcome the UN Security Council's decision to increase international pressure on Iran because of its continued defiance of the international community and its illicit nuclear program. However, like its two predecessors, this resolution represents a lowest common denominator because Russia and China did not agree to tougher sanctions.
Iran's nuclear ambitions pose a serious threat to the United States, to our ally Israel and to international security. We urgently need to pursue a strategy of aggressive diplomacy that includes direct discussions with Iran in which we lay out clear terms, with disincentives and incentives tied to Iran's actions. If Iran continues its defiance of the international community, we should work for tougher sanctions - within and outside of the UN - to ratchet up economic pressure on Iran, while also strengthening unilateral measures like divestment. One step that we can take right now to increase pressure on the Iranian regime is for the Senate to pass my Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which will make it easier for states to divest their pension funds from Iran. If Iran verifiably abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we should consider economic incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization and political incentives like full diplomatic relations. Throughout any diplomatic strategy, we should keep all options on the table, while avoiding any unnecessary saber rattling."