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. phonix86

    Obama has shown Iran that the world is watching and that the world will do NOTHING.

    Iran has gotten the message.

    Obama is impotent.

    July 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    This is so laughable. Unbelieveably naive and/or stupid. How many years has this been going on and how many stern warnings have they had? Just like NKorea. With this fool in charge the US has no credibiblity. He must think he is talking to the incredibly stupid people who voted for him.

    July 10, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This is a clear message to the Iranian regime. The door has been left open, all they have to do is walk through it. If the G8 will allow a civilian nuclear program, then there shouldn't be any fuss. The problem is with Ahmadinejead and his inflammatory comments about wiping Israel off the face of the Earth. Clearly after the elections, we see that we need to go over Ahmadinejead's head and speak to the "Supreme Leader," since it is he who actually makes the final decisions.

    July 10, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Israel, the consummate "rogue nation", has stolen vast swaths of land from their neighbors since 1948, has put the Palestinian people through sheer hell for sixty years, and is in violation of many dozens of UN Resolutions (including 242 since 1967) yet they get to have 200 nukes...why is that acceptable to the West?

    July 10, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Terry from Texas

    Gosh, it sure is too bad that we invaded the wrong country. We wasted America lives, money, and equipment bumping off another Stalinist dictator who was really no threat to the US.

    Now it turns out that Iran and North Korea were the real problems.

    Oh, darn. Our bad.

    July 10, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. T the B

    We are in the worse recession since the great depression...everybody needs a little extra.

    July 10, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. S Callahan

    As much as we would like to believe our destiny, or even safety, comes from worldly higher ups..truth be told...it's all in God's hands.
    Iran would be responsible to seek peace. Is that possible with the spirit that is leading them now? Let's hope so.
    In the meantime...keep the prayers going for those who have the courage and fortitude to stand up for their God given birth right to express themselves.

    July 10, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Egypt is in Africa

    Why does CNN keep saying that this is Obama's first visit to Africa? He already went to Egypt. Is Egypt in Europe now?
    Can our people get any props?

    July 10, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Stuffit

    "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."

    Sounds a bit "cowboy-ish" considering there haven't been 17 UN sanctions issued and violated yet.

    What is going to do? Is this just an idyll threat, or is he willing to back it up?

    If you'll remember, W. made several pleas to Saddam before going in and telegraphed the move for months. He then acted on it and raised the hackles of the left in this country.

    Of course, since this is Obama, we'll hear the chants of "Wow, it's nice to have a real diplomat at the helm now, articulate, intelligent, handsome...."

    July 10, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    I'm sure they're shaking in their boots.

    July 10, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. Kevin in Ohio

    What's he gonna do if Iran fails to take them up on the offer? Make a speech? Apologize?

    July 10, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Idiot_Pelosi

    What Obummer, your tele-prompter read speeches aren't having an impacton Iran? What a shock!

    Obummer has to go.

    July 10, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Libertarian

    Sounds like a leader to me. People will follow a true leader he doesn't DEMAND that people follow him. Cheney/Bush forgot that golder rule of leadership. Now you see what happens when a true leader goes to the table....people listen and will cooperate.

    Look at the inspiration Obama is giving other Democratic countries just by visiting them! You don't spread Democracy with armed threats. You inspire them to want it and let it well up from the people.

    Remember how upset Pakistan was that GW was using drones to attack within it's borders? Obama has stepped up these attacks and Pakistan has now blessed them and has taken a STRONG stance against the Taliban as they saw hope for Democracy truly winning.

    I think we're about to witness the strongest wave of Democracy this world has ever seen. Obama is to "blame".

    July 10, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. European-American

    "The world will not "wait indefinitely" and allow you to build nuclear weapons. "
    Like we did with Sadaam Hussein?
    Tough talk. What are we going to do, sanction them and when they fail to comply, then what? More sanctions and when they fail to comply, we will threaten them with more sanctions and more? In the mean time, missiles are built, dirty bombs are made, terrorists gets a little more organized, but bleeding hearts sleep well at night knowing they averted disaster. LOL

    July 10, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Cali J

    Go gettem stud. You have our enemies as well as our allies shaking and quaking in their boots.

    July 10, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. Sniffit

    @ Stuffit, who said "If you'll remember, W. made several pleas to Saddam before going in and telegraphed the move for months. He then acted on it and raised the hackles of the left in this country. "

    Pure Malarky. Nothing the Bush/Cheney administration did or said with respect to the lead-up to the Iraq War could be called "pleas" or "pleading" with a straight face. Playing semantic games in order to weave a revisionist history won't get you very far.

    July 10, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. johnnie

    how can the media(cnn) question the presidents toughness,saying he is soft,(bogus) the president is on the iran calender,like white on rice and candy on yams.he is smart to tell reporters ,here is the door , iran can walk thru that door, or choose not to(bottom line). iran knows that the president does not play and the iranian people rose up,because of that speech the president made in (cairo). the president said this boldly and made it very clear,nukes will not be acceptable in iran. am waitng to see the emails from the( fox false news crowd) today, they will give comments that are just out of this (world).president obama has preform very well over seas, and iran sees his power, and i believe will soon come to the table. great job mr.president.

    July 10, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    @ Libertarian
    What are you talking about? Obama is far from a Libertarian, I can not even bring my mind to wrap around this stretch of political nonsense?

    July 10, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Bush Jr. also kept sending 'clear' messages to NK, only to have the rogue state build nuclear weapons on his watch. AND he still didn't do anything afterwards either! These nations have learned from our last president what our threats actually amount to.

    July 10, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. David

    Oh, I can hear those sabres rattling. This admin is no different. There is a plan that is in place and the puppet dances his dance.

    July 10, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Sniffit

    @ phoenix86, who said "Obama is impotent."

    Are we to believe that Bush and Cheney weren't? Based on the FACT that NOTHING has changed and we still face the same problems with Iran, NK and the middle east in general...made worse due to how irate the Bush/Cheney administration's behavior made that entire area...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."

    July 10, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. The black spider

    Israel is like the US militia of the middle east. I am puting my bet on the fact that if Iran does not stop it's desire to have a nuclear weapon, the US will secretly give a go to Israel to strike because it will be easy because Israel will claim self-Defense.
    They will come with statement of blah blah blah on TV comdemning strongly israel and promising butter and bread to the iranians.
    Who is ready to bet?

    July 10, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. audacity of a dope

    Oh No not more warnings anything but that......they must be terrified

    July 10, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Scott, Tucson

    Obama got snubbed by N. Korea, so why would Iran be any different to his pleas? If Iran wants a Nuke , they only need to buy one from the Pakistanis.

    July 10, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Peter E

    The G-8 is a useless, self-congratulating group of plutocrats. They never do anything except gather to congratulate each-other on their wealth and their ability to rape the rest of the world from resources, labor, and human dignity. And to add insult to injury, they come up with 'charitable' contributions of a few million dollars at each summit to show how much they care about poor countries... A few million dollars, from the eight wealthiest nations in the world?

    July 10, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
1 2 3