WASHINGTON: The US will continue to focus on the Asia-Pacific region and shape a future of greater security, President Barack Obama said today, even as he vowed to veto any Congressional bill imposing new sanctions on Iran to give “diplomacy a chance to succeed”.
“We will continue to focus on the Asia-Pacific, where we support our allies, shape a future of greater security and prosperity and extend a hand to those devastated by disaster – as we did in the Philippines, when our Marines and civilians rushed to aid those battered by a typhoon, and were greeted with words like, ‘We will never forget your kindness’ and ‘God bless America!’,” Obama said in his annual State of the Union Address to the Congress.
Observing that in a world of complex threats, US’ security and leadership depends on all elements of its power, Obama said American diplomacy has rallied more than fifty countries to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands and allowed to reduce reliance on Cold War stockpiles.
“American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated, and we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the Syrian people deserve – a future free of dictatorship, terror and fear,” he said.
Attributing the tough sanctions on Iran for bringing Tehran on the negotiations table, Obama threatened to veto any Congressional bill that imposes new sanctions on Iran as negotiations of curtailing the latter’s nuclear weapons program continue.
“The sanctions that we put in place helped make this opportunity possible. But let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it. For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” he said.
It is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolled back parts of it for the very first time in a decade, the US President argued.
Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium, he said.–PTI