Barack ObamaBarack ObamaMcCain casts crucial vote to kill 'skinny' ObamaCare repeal Panetta on transgender ban: Trump should pay the military a visit White House declines to apologize to Boy Scouts MORE said Wednesday the threat posed by Iran is "real" and "grave" and promised that if he is elected president he will "do everything in my power to eliminate that threat". He also said the first steps must be diplomatic.

Obama, reacting to news that Iran had successfully test-fired a missile capable of hitting Israel, said the tests "demonstrate once again that we need to change our policy to deal aggressively with the threat posed by the Iranian regime."

"Through its nuclear program, missile capability, meddling in Iraq, support for terrorism, and threats against Israel, Iran now poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States in the region in a generation. Now is the time to work with our friends and allies, and to pursue direct and aggressive diplomacy with the Iranian regime backed by tougher unilateral and multilateral sanctions. It's time to offer the Iranians a clear choice between increased costs for continuing their troubling behavior, and concrete incentives that would come if they change course," Obama said

"As these tests have reaffirmed, the threat from Iran's nuclear program is real and it is grave. As President, I will do everything in my power to eliminate that threat, and that must begin with direct, aggressive, and sustained diplomacy."