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Obama's Iran TV Show Tour: More Diplomacy

The Huffington Post
First Posted: 07- 9-08 08:39 AM   |   Updated: 07-17-08 05:12 AM

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** UPDATE BELOW **

Iran's state-run television reported this morning that the government had tested nine long- and medium-range missiles, including a new version of the Shahab-3 missile that has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead.

Obama, who appeared on three morning shows, called for more diplomacy -- a stance McCain has pounced on before.

On NBC's Today, Obama demanded the U.S. "proceed aggressively with diplomacy" instead of "farming it out to the Europeans." He also called for divestment from Iran, pointing out that exports to the country increased under Bush.

[WATCH]

Obama called Iran a "grave threat" on ABC's Good Morning America and suggested sanctions and diplomacy instead of "over the top rhetoric."

On CBS' Early Show he said, "We've been combining bellicose rhetoric with not very effective action. And that's one of the things I'd like to change when I'm president." He also defended himself on Iraq, saying, "I have been entirely consistent that we are going to end this war when I'm president."

During the primary, McCain said Obama's willingness to engage in diplomacy showed his "inexperience and reckless judgment." Bill Kristol recently said on Fox News that Bush might bomb Iran if he "thinks Obama is going to win."

UPDATE: The McCain and Obama campaigns have released statements on the Iran missile test:

From McCain:

"Iran's most recent missile tests demonstrate again the dangers it poses to its neighbors and to the wider region, especially Israel. Ballistic missile testing coupled with Iran's continued refusal to cease its nuclear activities should unite the international community in efforts to counter Iran's dangerous ambitions. Iran's missile tests also demonstrate the need for effective missile defense now and in the future, and this includes missile defense in Europe as is planned with the Czech Republic and Poland. Working with our European and regional allies is the best way to meet the threat posed by Iran, not unilateral concessions that undermine multilateral diplomacy."

From Obama:

"These missile tests demonstrate once again that we need to change our policy to deal aggressively with the threat posed by the Iranian regime. Through its nuclear program, missile capability, meddling in Iraq, support for terrorism, and threats against Israel, Iran now poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States in the region in a generation. Now is the time to work with our friends and allies, and to pursue direct and aggressive diplomacy with the Iranian regime backed by tougher unilateral and multilateral sanctions. It's time to offer the Iranians a clear choice between increased costs for continuing their troubling behavior, and concrete incentives that would come if they change course.


"As these tests have reaffirmed, the threat from Iran's nuclear program is real and it is grave. As President, I will do everything in my power to eliminate that threat, and that must begin with direct, aggressive, and sustained diplomacy."


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