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Tuesday 17 July 2012
By Jamie Crawford
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran's proposals at recent talks over the country's disputed nuclear program were "non-starters," and called on the international community to increase its pressure on Iran.
"I made very clear that the proposals that we have seen from Iran thus far within the P5+1 negotiations are non-starters," Clinton told reporters at a news conference in Jerusalem following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Despite three rounds of talks, Iran has yet to make a strategic decision to address the international community's concerns and fulfill their obligations under the IAEA and the UN Security Council."
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In her remarks, Clinton reaffirmed the goal of achieving a diplomatic solution to a program many western countries fear is a cover for Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its program is purely for peaceful purposes.
The so-called P5+1 talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany have stalled following three rounds of discussions, and a meeting last week of technical experts from each party. The United States and the European Union recently enacted sanctions targeting Iran's petroleum sector that Clinton said were "biting" the regime in Tehran.
In an interview with CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott in Jerusalem, Clinton said the United States increased intensive dialogue with Israel about Iran's nuclear program "to an unprecedented level."
With fears that the window for a diplomatic solution to the problem may be closing, and a military strike by Israel against Iran's nuclear program may be on the horizon, Clinton said the United States is always in close consultation with Israel.
"I think it's absolutely fair to say we are on the same page at this moment trying to figure our way forward to have the maximum impact on affecting the decisions that Iran makes," she told reporters at the news conference.
"The choice is ultimately Iran's to make," Clinton said. "Our own choice is clear: we will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
Clinton's visit to Israel was the final stop of a marathon twelve day, nine country trip.