WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday warned Iran that time was not “infinite” for diplomacy and that “all options remain on the table” after a dispute over the venue of talks.
Clinton said that the European Union would look into setting a time and place for long-moribund talks on Iran’s nuclear program but vowed that the United States would maintain “strong pressure” to address concerns.
“We want to see a peaceful resolution of the international community’s concerns, but the time for diplomacy is not infinite and all options remain on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Clinton said.
“Until Iran comes into compliance with its international obligations and demonstrates the peaceful intent of its nuclear program, they will continue to face strong pressure and isolation,” she said.
“So the sooner that we can begin talks, the better it will be,” she said at a joint news conference with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
Clinton had earlier said that the talks between Iran and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — would begin on April 13 in Istanbul.
But Iran said Tuesday that it objected to holding the talks in Turkey, which cut imports of oil from its neighbor in response to US threats of sanctions.
Instead, according to Iraq’s foreign ministry, Iran has formally requested Baghdad hold the April 13-14 negotiations.