'Obama policy has slowed Iran nuclear effort'

National security adviser Tom Donilon defends US policies on Iran, says there's still "time, space, means" to persuade Tehran to abandon weapons ambitions.

Tom Donilon  (photo credit: Reuters)
Tom Donilon
(photo credit: Reuters)
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's top national security aide said on Tuesday a US-led drive to isolate Iran had slowed its nuclear program and that there was still "time, space and means" to persuade Tehran to abandon atomic weapons ambitions.
National security adviser Tom Donilon defended Obama's Iran policy in a wide-ranging speech following criticism by Republican presidential contenders that the administration had not done enough to thwart Tehran's nuclear advances.
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He said that after Iran rejected the Obama's early diplomatic outreach and continued defying the international community, the United States had worked to ratchet up sanctions, strengthen military ties with Tehran's neighbors and increase it isolation.

"The effect of these sanctions has been clear," Donilon said. "Coupled with mistakes and difficulties in Iran, they have slowed Iran's nuclear efforts ... Not only is it harder for Iran to proceed, it is more expensive."
Despite those claims, Obama - like predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton - has been unable to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program or come clean on its developments.