The United States is not imposing a deadline on Iran as it seeks to persuade the Islamic republic to rein in its suspect nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
“I think we’ve maintained a steady course of our two-pronged policy,” Clinton told Bloomberg radio Sunday at the end of a trip to Asia.
“We have always said every option was on the table, but we believe in the negotiation, the diplomatic effort through the P5+1, but also pressure,” she added in the remarks released Monday.
Washington and Western nations accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a civilian program. Tehran denies the charges.
Clinton said tight sanctions imposed on Iran were having an effect, and that the group of nations leading negotiations, known as the P5+1, will keep working on the dossier even though negotiations with Tehran have ground to a halt.
The group comprised of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States as well as Germany -- will meet in New York in the coming weeks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, she said.
“We’re not setting deadlines. We’re watching very carefully about what they do, because it’s always been more about their actions and their words,” Clinton said in the interview in the Vladivostok where she was attending an Asia-Pacific talks.
“It’s a very challenging effort to get them to move in a way that complies with their international obligations, but we believe that is still, by far, the best approach to take at this time,” she added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has meanwhile told Canada’s CBC that his country is talking with Washington about laying down “clear red lines” for Iran over its nuclear program.
“Iran will not stop unless it sees clear determination by the democratic countries of the world and a clear red line,” Netanyahu told CBC.
“The sooner we establish one, the greater the chances that there won’t be a need for other types of action,” he said.
Israel, the Middle East’s sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, says a nuclear Iran would constitute an existential threat for the Jewish state and has refused to rule out a military strike to prevent it from gaining any such capability.