Durbin: Sanctions before war with Iran

February 21, 2012

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he hopes sanctions will be enough to stop Iran's nuclear program.

A senior Iranian military commander reportedly said his country will launch a pre-emptive strike if it feels threatened. And Israel has said it's considering military action to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

Durbin, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday he hopes international sanctions will get Iran to back down.

He said he hopes sanctions urge Iran "to develop nuclear energy strictly for peaceful purposes, and to bring in inspectors to verify that fact. Uh, we - I hope are moving toward that goal. But I hope that there's no one who believes that a military confrontation is an easy way out."

Inspectors from the U.N. have been meeting with Iranian leaders Tuesday. But Iran's Foreign Ministry says the U.N. has no plans for inspections. Iran denies it's trying to develop nuclear weapons.