US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked Iran to come to the table to negotiate a halt to its suspect nuclear activities, warning that its continued defiance of the international community could result in more isolation and economic sanctions.
In her address on Friday to the Brookings Institute, a Washington-based think tank, Clinton said that Iran has a choice to either accept the offer of US and other countries or face further sanctions if it shies away from talks.
"Iran faces a choice. The international community has made abundantly clear what is possible for all Iranians if Iran lives up to its responsibility on the nuclear issue: the benefits of economic connections to the rest of the world; cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy and partnership in education and science," she said.
However, she said there will be "accompanying costs" for Iran's continued defiance-- more isolation and economic pressure and less possibility of progress for people of Iran.
Noting that the Obama administration has conveyed its readiness to engage directly with Iran, Clinton said dialogue alone doesn't guarantee any outcome, let alone success.
"But we also know that our past refusal to engage yielded no progress on the nuclear issue nor did it stem Iran's support for terrorist groups," she said.