Washington, Jan 7 (ANI): Outgoing US national security adviser Stephen Hadley has said that Iran is the biggest challenge President-elect Barack Obama will face in the Middle East and adds that the next administration's top priority should also be aimed at stabilizing an increasingly volatile Pakistan.
He further said that more sanctions would be needed to force Tehran to forgo its nuclear ambitions and support for extremists.
In a nearly hour-long interview with media, Hadley said the Bush White House has been trying to "shore up and store up leverage" on Iran to bequeath to the Obama Administration.
Obama's challenge, he said, will be to use those sanctions to force Iran to change its behavior, The News reported.
Saying that European officials have pointed to Tehran's dependence on gasoline imports and its need for additional refining equipment, Hadley added "one of the questions is whether these kinds of vulnerabilities provide a potential source of leverage, and this is the kind of dialogue that we will continue to have with the Europeans."
While the Middle East presents challenges, he said Obama might also find his biggest foreign policy opportunity there, in the form of a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians. (ANI)