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Our policy towards Iran not soft: US

US said the past year has been spent on garnering support from Europe and India over the issue.

world Updated: Jan 06, 2006 11:56 IST

Rejecting the contention that its policy towards Iran has been soft, US has said the past year has been spent on garnering support fromEurope and India over the issue.

US has warned Tehran that Washington could refer the issue to UNSC anytime if it pursues the nuclear programme.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied that the administration's policy towards Iran has been all bark and no bite and said the past year has been spend on building support from among the Europeans as well as seeking the backing of Russia, China and India.

"I don't think there's any doubt that we will want to demonstrate that we've given diplomacy a chance. And. sometimes it takes a little time to give diplomacy a chance," Rice said in response to a question.

She said the US may initiate action to haul Iran before the UN Security Council if it decides to go ahead with its latest threat to resume nuclear fuel research.

"They shouldn't do it because it would really be a sign that they are not prepared to actually make diplomacy work...In terms of the next phase, if negotiations have been exhausted, we have the votes, there is a resolution sitting there on the Security Council, we'll vote it."

She, however, declined to give a timeline for such action but said, "the Iranians are digging their own hole of isolation deeper and deeper."

He remarks came as Iranian delegates failed to show up at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna on Thursday for a scheduled meeting to discuss Tehran's plan to resume atomic fuel research.