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Tough enough?

Mark Mardell | 17:31 UK time, Friday, 25 September 2009

Watch the American media to see whether there is criticism of the president for not being as tough on Iran as a couple of ole European boys.

G20 summit in Pittsburgh on 25 September 2009

It is true that, as they revealed the existence of Iran's secret plant, President Obama didn't mention sanctions and the other two did. President Sarkozy talked of the world's grave crisis of confidence in Iran and how it was on a dangerous path. He promised sanctions by December if they didn't change their mind.

I don't think have ever heard the prime minister sound as crisp and strong with a short statement promising that the United Kingdom would call for stringent sanctions if Iran did not engage with the international community.

From a distance, Obama simply seems like an unbeatable orator. Close up, he has good days and bad days, and the bad days are when he's thinking about issues not soundbites.

He's focused on putting the maximum pressure on the Iranians next week, not on what happens if that fails. But I think some here will make harsher judgements.


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