PITTSBURGH (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday that Iran is on a path to confrontation with world powers unless it agrees to “come clean” and disclose all its nuclear activities.
He said he would not rule out military action.
Obama joined the leaders of Britain and France in accusing the Islamic republic of clandestinely building an underground plant to make nuclear fuel that could be used to build an atomic bomb. Iranian officials acknowledged the facility but insisted it had been reported to nuclear authorities as required.
“Iran’s action raised grave doubts” about its promise to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only, Obama told a news conference at the conclusion of a G-20 summit whose focus on world economic recovery was overshadowed by disclosure of the Iranian plant .
Obama seemed to hold out limited hope that a meeting next week between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers would lead to resolution of the nuclear standoff.
“When we find that diplomacy does not work, we will be in a much stronger position to, for example, apply sanctions that have bite,” he said.
“That’s not the preferred course of action. I would love nothing more than to see Iran choose the responsible path.”