The two main presidential candidates agreed Wednesday that Iran's missile tests call for renewed pressure on that country, but Democrat Barack Obama stressed direct diplomacy while Republican John McCain focused on tougher sanctions against Tehran.
Obama called for a continued package of carrot-and-stick incentives to dissuade the Iranians from pursuing nuclear weapons while putting more emphasis on diplomatic talks.
“What this underscores is the need for … a clear policy that is putting the burden on Iran to change behavior,” he said on CBS's “The Early Show.” “And frankly, we just have not been able to do that the last several years, partly because we're not engaged in direct diplomacy.”
McCain, speaking to reporters in South Park, said “lines of communications” with Iran should continue. However, he pushed for sanctions against the Iranians that could affect “their very aggressive behavior, not only rhetorically, but in their pursuit of nuclear weapons as well as this latest missile test.”
“So lines of communication are fine. Action is what's necessary,” McCain said.