Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has also offered to meet with Iranian leaders if Iran agrees to suspend its uranium enrichment program. It's a more specific precondition than Obama's, but it is an offer to hold negotiations.
"We would be willing to meet with them but not while they continue to inch toward nuclear weapons under the cover of talks," Rice said Tuesday. "The real question isn't why won't the Bush administration talk to Iran. The real question is why won't Iran talk to us."
There is, of course, one important difference.
Obama is willing to start low-level talks on Iran's nuclear program right away, something the Bush administration has refused to do.
Obama said he would engage in such diplomacy "with no illusions about the Iranian regime."
"I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," he said, repeating himself for emphasis, "everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear, everything."
Echoing the Bush administration, Obama added: "I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally, Israel. Do not be confused."