Barack Obama in Paris said Iran shouldn’t wait for the next U.S. president to accept proposals on ending its enrichment of uranium.
The presumptive Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke Friday at a joint news conference after meeting during Obama’s European tour, which finished the next day in London.
Obama said he and Sarkozy agreed that Iran poses a grave threat to world security, and he urged Iran to work with Western nations on recent proposals to stop enriching uranium in exchange for economic and political incentives.
“Iran should accept the proposals that President Sarkozy and the E.U. plus 3 are presenting now,” said Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois. “Don’t wait for the next president because the pressure, I think, is only going to build.”
Iran says its nuclear program is meant for peaceful means, while Israel, the United States, European countries and others say it is meant to build illicit weapons.
Obama also praised the French government’s recent willingness to boost peace efforts in the Middle East, notably through its improved relationship with Syria and Israel, who are indirectly negotiating a peace deal.
Sarkozy did not hide his admiration for Obama, which French and American observers have called “a near endorsement.”
“So good luck to Barack Obama,” said the French leader nearing the end of the news conference. “If he is chosen, then France will be delighted. And if it is somebody else, then France will be the friend of the United States of America.”
Meanwhile, Obama said on Meet the Press aired Sunday morning that making peace between Israel and the Palestinians will weaken Iran.
Bringing peace to the two sides will also “make it easier for Arab states and the Gulf states to support us when it comes to issues like Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama told host Tom Brokaw on Sunday morning.
Obama also that a Palestinian state is in the best interest of Israelis and Palestinians.
“We’re going to make sure that the Palestinians have the–a state that allows them to prosper as long as we also have certainty that Israel’s security is not being compromised. I think it’s in the interest of both parties, but we are the critical ingredient in terms of making sure that a deal actually gets done.”