WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama is under pressure to consider a military strike on Iran, according to the Financial Times.
Both Senator Joe Lieberman and Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have urged the president to consider setting a time limit of just a few months on the effectiveness of the most recent sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic for its nuclear advances.
“Our goal here is to convince Iran to stop its nuclear weapons development program by economic and diplomatic means if we can but (to make clear) that we are prepared to use military means if we must,” Lieberman told the Financial Times.
The senator added that the Obama Administration must reevaluate its policy at the end of the year and adopt a tougher stance if necessary. He called the sanctions "biting", but said he doubted they would cause Iran to negotiate its nuclear program with the West.
Howard Berman told the publication that the administration had "months, not years" to make sanctions work and that a military operation was preferable to a nuclear Iran.
But the Obama Administration is still basking in the afterglow of its victory with Tupraz, a Turkish energy company that ceased refined oil sales to Iran due to sanctions. Next week a US delegation will visit China in an effort to convince Beijing not to fill the newly created void.
And on Thursday the US placed the Swiss-based Naftiran Intertrade Company, a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company, on a financial blacklist and claimed success in persuading several European energy firms to divest from the country.