July 10th, 2009
10:53 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama: G8 warned Iran against nukes

L'AQUILA, Italy (CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama argued Friday that the G8 had sent a clear message to Iran: The world will not "wait indefinitely" and allow you to build nuclear weapons.

"The international community has said, 'Here's a door you can walk through that allows you to lessen tensions and more fully join the international community,'" Obama told reporters at a news conference.

"If Iran chooses not to walk through that door, then you have on record the G8 to begin with, but I think potentially a lot of other countries, that are going to say, 'We need to take further steps.'"

CNN Radio: Ed Henry reports from the G-8

Obama - who has promised diplomatic engagement with Tehran - said offering a "door" has always been "our premise."

"But we also say we're not going to just wait indefinitely and allow for the development of the nuclear weapon, the breach of international treaties, and wake up one day and find ourselves in a much worse situation and unable to act. So my hope is that the Iranian leadership will look at the statement coming out of the G8 and recognize that world opinion is clear."

The G8 statement expressed commitment "to finding a diplomatic solution to the issue of Iran's nuclear program" and said Iran "has the right to a civilian nuclear program, but that comes with the responsibility to restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear activities."

"We sincerely hope that Iran will seize this opportunity to give diplomacy a chance to find a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue," the statement said.

Reports said Obama had met with some fellow leaders to push for a threat of potential new sanctions against Iran in the wake of the government's crackdown on protesters following the recent election.

Obama denied that at the news conference, saying, "What we wanted was exactly what we got, which is a statement of unity and strong condemnation about the appalling treatment of peaceful protesters post election In iran as well as some behavior that just violates basic international norms."

The G8 statement said the group "deplores" the violence. "We express our solidarity with those who have suffered repression while peacefully demonstrating and urge Iran to respect fundamental human rights," the statement said.

- CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report.

Filed under: Iran • President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Drew

    If any of you naysayers could actually do any reading between the lines, you would see the subtlety of what Obama is saying. "We told you what you have to do. If you don't do it, there will be consequences." Yes, he's actually displaying some diplomacy, which is a pretty refreshing change from rushing in, guns blazing.

    July 10, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. lkinopfl

    Way to go Obama! You are doing the right thing and acting VERY Presidential! You are aligning with other countries and you are all getting on the same page. You are sending a strong message to Iran that they are being watched very closely by the World, not just the U.S. We are gaining support of the World that IF Iran doesn't tone down their erratic behavior, then at some point intervention may be necessary. And of course the main goal is to prevent the harm of as many innocent civilians as possible. Just because the leader is bad there, doesn't mean all of its people are bad. So I think this is a good move, Obama is interacting with other countries, and gaining consensus and support on the matter.

    July 10, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. citizenjane

    That N. Korea and Iran no longer "fear" the US is quite obvious. This is a direct result of the US invading Iraq, a war which has left America open to criticism and very much showed the world our weaknesses.

    Blame Bush, or don't. But, the continual disdain for Obama voiced here in America IS fueling N. Korea and Iran and Somalia and Sryia. Etc, Etc, Etc.

    Have it your way, republicans. . .

    July 10, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. No one famous

    Oh what an idle threat.............is this the beginning of a North Korean-like relationship?

    July 10, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Carlos

    Oh my gosh the g8 and nobama have warned them I bet that has them shaking in their boots.

    July 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Jim

    boy, those republicans sure like to moan, wail, complain and gnash their teeth when circumstances aren't what they want.

    trouble is, they don't seem to be able to tell anyone exactly what they want.

    in the mean time ... President Obama has used proper diplomacy, the first steps of which are "open a dialogue".

    July 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. daniel

    There seems to be some set of permanently aggrieved Republicans determined to object to anything and everything Obama does: his rate of hair growth, his metabolic rate, how many times he chews his food, the number of times he blinks a minute. I wonder if these Republicans really understand and appreciate what their meanness, pettiness, and smallness of mind and heart would look like practiced on them? What would it be like to have somebody on their back and in their face 24/7 with spittle flying and vicious, stupid things to say about everything, from matters of importance down to the unbelievably trivial, stupid and maddeningly inane. I opposed Bush,yes, but it was after a time and for a reason: I objected to the Iraq war. This Obama hate, apparently tied to his continued existence, and practiced with malice and spite by people who profess to love Jesus is about the stooooopppidddest thing I have ever seen. Jesus needs to take such people out to the woodshed and administer a few divine kicks to their fat goofy backsides.

    July 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. obama can't find chechnya on a map

    stupid liberals defending Obama again the fact is Obama can't lead Russia just sits and laughs at him and North Korea and Iran can do anything because Obama won't do nothing but just talk meanwhile the US suffers cyber attacks daily from countries and the more we talk our enemies just build bombs

    July 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Robert

    I can only Laugh on this.

    G8 has great ambitions, but it is defunct, because:

    1. Russia is helping Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

    2. China is helping North Korea to build a nuclear weapon.

    Laugh... Laugh... Ha Ha Ha... Nice Joke 😛

    July 10, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. SlowGun

    @Sniffit July 10th, 2009 11:34 am ET

    who said to


    …you should probably wait to see what results Obama is able to get rather than criticizing him 6 months into office for not having already magically fixed problems that are realistically going to take years to solve. It's more like Bush/Cheney suffered priapism from scarfing down too much foreign relations viagra…spending too much time and too much of our nation's credibility, clout and good-will rattling their "sabers."


    Sniffit, I think you are wasting your efforts with phoenix86.
    Fact is he didn't even wait 6 months. He was criticizing Obama before he was even elected. That's his game....he is a ditto head...never has his facts straight...quick to cry, complain...but never has offered any type of intelligent thought or ideas towards any of the problems Obama faces due to the last administration's screw ups.

    Hey, phoenix86, if your are reading...prove me wrong...point out one time that you offered any thing positive or any ideas to help.

    July 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    It doesn't really make a difference who warns Iran or anyone else for that matter since the both the G8 and the UN want the U.S. to basically be the world's police dept.

    July 10, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. citizenjane

    @Fair is Fair:

    Good luck demanding anything from China. They own us, Fair, thanks to the stimulus Bush gave out last summer and other economic problems which developed during his presidency.

    July 10, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    The paid rightwing jihadists on here cant wait for a big war,guess they have a great bunker.

    July 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This is smart diplomacy. Iran knowing that the World is watching them should alter ther behavior. But you never know with their leaders. I applaud the G8 for letting it be known to Iran that the international community will not allow them to have nukes. This is how a "lead-up" to something is supposed to happen. Diplomacy, more diplomacy and then action!

    July 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Fla.

    President Obama uses a constructive approach to build mutual interests of respectful relations with Iran, while including the perspective of global community.

    Keep up the great work, Mr. President!

    July 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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