WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama discussed further measures to isolate Iran with his Chinese and Russian counterparts.
"What I did was to speak with President Medvedev, as well as President Hu, and all three of us entirely agree on the objective, which is making sure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power and that we don’t trigger a nuclear arms race in the region," Obama said Sunday after meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao at an Asia-Pacific economic summit in Kapolei, Hawaii. "That’s in the interests of all of us.
"In terms of how we move forward, we will be consulting with them carefully over the next several weeks to look at what other options we have available to us. The sanctions have enormous bite and enormous scope, and we’re building off the platform that has already been established. The question is, are there additional measures that we can take. And we’re going to explore every avenue to see if we can solve this issue diplomatically."
Obama pushed back against claims during the Republican candidates’ debate over the weekend that he had not done enough to contain Iran.
"You take a look at what we’ve been able to accomplish in mobilizing the world community against Iran over the last three years and it shows steady, determined, firm progress in isolating the Iranian regime, and sending a clear message that the world believes it would be dangerous for them to have a nuclear weapon," he said. "Now, is this an easy issue? No. Anybody who claims it is is either politicking or doesn’t know what they’re talking about."