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Time still left for diplomacy with Iran: US

world Updated: Aug 14, 2012 07:53 IST

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Days after tightening the noose of international sanctions against Tehran, the Obama Administration has said there is still time and space left for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear programme.


"We regret that Iran has not yet made a strategic decision to address the international community's serious concerns regarding its nuclear programme and the ongoing P5-plus-1 talks. However, we continue to believe that there is time and space for diplomacy," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday.

He noted that the opportunity remained for Iran to take advantage of this process by taking necessary steps to come into compliance with its international obligations.

"In the meantime, even as we continue P5-plus-1 talks, multilateral efforts to increase the pressure on Iran have not ceased at all," he held.

Carney, however, said the US continues to work with its partners around the world to increase the scale and scope on sanctions on Tehran, making it clear that such pressures will only grow until Iran changes course.

The US has taken a "two-track approach" for "isolation" of Iran and is stepping up pressure on it through sanctions and other means, Carney said, adding that these were efforts to "convince" Iran to abide by their international obligations and renounce their nuclear weapons ambitions.

"We work with the Israelis as well as all of our partners in that effort," Carney said.

The US, he said, has a robust, cooperative relationship with Israel on security matters and they share a great deal of information, especially about Iran.

On Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent remarks that they had not yet decided about any "kinetic" action against Iran, Carney said there was still time left to "pursue a diplomatic course" backed by a firm approach on the sanctions imposed on Tehran.

"There is every reason to continue the P5-plus-1 talks while the time and space remains. But let's be absolutely clear that the President's policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," Carney said.

Meanwhile the US officials have said there has been no response from Iran on the American offer of assistance for the quake hit victims.

"Our hearts go out to those people who are affected. We have said that we stand ready to provide assistance. We have not had any pickup of that from the Iranians. In fact, there have been Iranian public statements in the last 24 hours saying that they did not need foreign assistance. Nonetheless, our offers stays on the table," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at her daily news conference.

Americans wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to Iranians during this time may donate food and medicine without obtaining an Iranian transactions regulations license, she said.

"Additionally, certain noncommercial personal financial transactions to Iran are authorised under existing general licenses," Nuland added.