Mon, August 13, 2012

White House says still "time and space" for diplomacy on Iran

2012-08-13 21:34:20 GMT2012-08-14 05:34:20(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Monday reiterated that there is still "time and space" for diplomacy in dealing with Iran's nuclear standoff, vowing to continue the two- track approach of diplomacy and pressure.

"We regret that Iran has not yet made a strategic decision to address the international community's serious concerns regarding its nuclear program and the ongoing P5-plus-1 talks," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a press briefing. "However, we continue to believe that there is time and space for diplomacy. "

His remarks came at a time when Israeli media reported that the decision by the Jewish state to attack Iran's nuclear sites was looming. Carney stressed that "opportunity remains" for a peaceful resolution of the stalemate if Iran takes necessary steps to comply with its international obligations.

The West has long been accusing Tehran of secretly developing nuclear weapon, while Iran has always rejected such claim. The P5+ 1, namely world powers including the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany, have held numerous rounds of negotiations with Iran in order to solve the logjam, but so far no substantial results have been achieved.

Carney also vowed to continue to increase the "scale and scope" of sanctions on Iran in a bid to force the Islamic republic to " change course."

"Continued diplomatic efforts are not inconsistent with expanded pressure," he told reporters. "That is the essence of the two-track approach that we've taken, which is to step up, week by week, the pressure on Iran, the isolation on Iran, through sanctions and other means."

In response to Israel's growing drumbeat of war, Carney cited recent remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that no decision has been made about taking "kinetic action."

"We believe, and certainly share this with our partners, that there remains time and space to pursue a diplomatic course that is backed up by the very firm approach we've taken on sanctions," he said.


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