United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Democratic Platform on Iran

On Sept. 4, the Democratic Party adopted its party platform. The platform credits President Barack Obama for his cooperation with the international community and implementing “the toughest UN sanctions ever on Iran.” It states that “a diplomatic outcome remains the best and most enduring solution” to the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program. The following are excerpts from the 2012 Democratic platform on Iran and other key Middle East issues.

 
Iran
 
President Obama, working closely with our international partners and Congress, has put in place unprecedented sanctions against Iran. Iran has yet to build a nuclear weapon, but has continually failed to meet its obligations under the NPT and several United Nations Security Council resolutions, and it cannot demonstrate with any credibility that its program is peaceful.
 
The President is committed to using all instruments of national power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. When President Obama took office, Iran was ascendant in the region, and the international community was divided over how to address Iran’s nuclear violations. The President’s early offer of engagement with Iran – quickly rebuffed by the regime – allowed the United States to expose Iranian intransigence and rally the international community as never before. Working with our European allies and with Russia and China, the administration gained unprecedented agreement for the toughest ever UN sanctions against Iran, laying the foundation for additional national financial and energy sanctions imposed by the United States and other nations. As a result, Iran is now increasingly isolated and the regime faces crippling economic pressure – pressure that will only build over time.
 
President Obama believes that a diplomatic outcome remains the best and most enduring solution. At the same time, he has also made clear that the window for diplomacy will not remain open indefinitely and that all options – including military force – remain on the table. But we have an obligation to use the time and space that exists now to put increasing pressure on the Iranian regime to live up to its obligations and rejoin the community of nations, or face the consequences.
 
Strengthening Alliances, Expanding Partnerships, and Reinvigorating International Institutions
 
Meanwhile, even as the presence of U.S. forces in Europe necessarily evolves, the United States will maintain its Article 5 collective security commitments to NATO and will continue to leverage America’s comparative advantage in high-end military capabilities to ensure the defense of our allies. For example, the President is moving forward with a “phased adaptive approach” to European ballistic-missile defense that will protect both Europe and the United States from missile threats emanating from Iran and elsewhere. We believe that the United States and Russia can cooperate on missile defense, but we have also made clear that we will move forward with our system, beginning with the steps we have taken to deploy it in Poland, Turkey, and Romania.
 
The Middle East
 
The administration has also worked to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. And we have deepened defense cooperation – including funding the Iron Dome system – to help Israel address its most pressing threats, including the growing danger posed by rockets and missiles emanating from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. The President’s consistent support for Israel’s right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel’s security…
 
Elsewhere in the region, President Obama is committed to maintaining robust security cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council states and our other partners aimed at deterring aggression, checking Iran’s destabilizing activities, ensuring the free flow of commerce essential to the global economy, and building a regional security architecture to counter terrorism, proliferation, ballistic missiles, piracy, and other common threats.
 
The United Nations
 
We have restored America’s leadership at the UN by cooperating with our partners there when we can and respectfully disagreeing with them when we must, reversing the previous administration’s disdain for the UN. The President’s leadership at the UN has enabled us to make real progress on a number of top national security priorities, including getting Russia and China on board to implement the toughest UN sanctions ever on Iran and North Korea.
 
Standing With Those Demanding Greater Freedom
 
In Iran, President Obama spoke out in support of the prodemocracy protestors and imposed human rights sanctions on the Iranian government.
 
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