The White House yesterday reiterated that there was still ‘time and space’ for diplomacy in dealing with Iran’s nuclear deadlock and said it would continue its 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 programme and the on going P5-plus-1 talks,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a press briefing. “However, we continue to believe that there is time and space for diplomacy,” he added.
Carney’s remarks came at a time when Israeli media reports suggest that the decision by Jerusalem to attack Iran’s nuclear sites is approaching.
Carney stressed that “opportunity remains” for a peaceful resolution of the stalemate if Iran takes necessary steps to comply with its international obligations. The P5+1 – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – have held numerous rounds of negotiations with Iran to solve the impasse, but so far no substantial results have been achieved.
Carney at the press conference also asserted that the US would continue to increase the “scale and scope” of sanctions against Iran in a bid to force the country to “change course”.
“Continued diplomatic efforts are not inconsistent with expanded pressure. 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,” he said.
Yesterday Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, also made comments on Iran, he said: “Israel is a small country with certain capabilities located in Iran’s backyard. And Israel, not the United States, is threatened almost weekly, if not daily, with annihilation by Iranian leaders. We still believe that truly crippling sanctions together with a credible military threat – and that I stress, that’s a threat; not that we just say that it’s credible, the folks in Tehran have to believe us when we say that – may still deter them.”
“But we also have to be prepared, as President Obama has said, to keep all options on the table, including a military option,” he added.