By ROBERT BURNS
AP National Security Writer
updated 4:50 p.m. ET, Fri., July 10, 2009
WASHINGTON – After a half-year of extending patient feelers to Iran, President Barack Obama has set a timeline — warning Tehran it must show willingness to negotiate an end to its nuclear program by September or face consequences.
Obama said that in September “we will re-evaluate Iran’s posture toward negotiating the cessation of a nuclear weapons policy.” If by then it has not accepted the offer of talks, the United States and “potentially a lot of other countries” are going to say “we need to take further steps,” he said.
The president did not say what steps he has in mind. He mentioned neither sanctions nor military force. But it seems clear that a next step to pressure Iran would entail some form of sanctions.
Today Pres Obama announced that Iran has been building a secret underground nuclear facility and hiding it from the UN for years. In response, he said that he will bring up the nuclear issue at talks with the Iranians on October 1st (recall the Iranians agreed to talks as long as the nuclear issue was not discussed). Obama-along w the British and French-then went on to threaten that there might be sanctions if Iran doesn’t seriously talk about resolving the nuclear issue at the talks where they’ve already said they won’t talk about the nuclear issue.
question: At what point does threatening to take action no longer seem as though it’s a threat?
OBAMA’S DIPLOMACY HAS FAILED