Clinton says diplomacy with Iran not "infinite"

April 5, 2012 9:11 pm 

WASHINGTON, April 5 — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the time for diplomacy with Iran over its disputed nuclear program is not "infinite," reiterating that all options are on the table.

"We want to see a peaceful resolution of the international community's concerns, but the time for diplomacy is not infinite and all options remain on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," Clinton said at a joint press conference with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.

"Until Iran comes into compliance with its international obligations and demonstrates the peaceful intent of its nuclear program, they will continue to face strong pressure and isolation," she said.

"So the sooner that we begin talks, the better it will be," Clinton noted, adding that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is still consulting with Iran on the time and venues of the upcoming talks.

Clinton made the remarks ahead of the upcoming talks between Iran and the six world powers, namely the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany, also known as G5+1.

She said previously on Saturday in Saudi Arabia that the six world powers and Iran had agreed on meeting in Turkey's Istanbul on April 13.

But Iran's Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday that China and Iraq are also considered by Tehran as the venues for the talks.

At the end of last year, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, a part of which is aimed at choking off Iran's crucial oil revenue by targeting its central bank and financial sector.

The law allows the Obama administration to slap sanctions on foreign banks that engage in oil transactions with Iran's central bank and cut them off from the American financial system.

The unprecedentedly tough measure resulted in heightened tensions between the West and Tehran, with Israel and the United States even talking about launching military strikes against Iran' s nuclear sites.

The tensions relatively eased recently as Iran and the six world powers agreed to resume talks on its controversial nuclear program. (PNA/Xinhua)

hbc/mec

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