The United States and Europe vowed Thursday to keep up pressure on Iran to come clean about its nuclear program, saying the country's continued refusal to prove its intentions are peaceful will draw new penalties, AP reported.
After meetings with two visiting senior European officials, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said efforts to craft additional sanctions on Iran will continue. The officials were E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
Clinton said the door to engagement remained open but stressed that the international community would not be "waited out" by Iranian resistance, would not "back down" on its demands and would try to get a tough new U.N. Security Council resolution to punish Iran.
"Our plan right now is to proceed to obtain the strongest possible language out of the United Nations," she told reporters after meeting with Miliband at the State Department. "It is all aimed at trying to influence Iranian government behavior. We want the strongest possible resolution."
Clinton said the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran "would be so intensely destabilizing that there is not a country in the world, that is in the neighborhood, in the region, that relies on the oil market that would not be directly affected."
Earlier, after meeting with Ashton, Clinton said: "We will not be waited out, and we will not back down."
"Iran has a very clear choice between continued isolation and living up to its international obligations," she said. "We are going at this in a very concerted and unified manner because we think it is important to send that message to the Iranian leadership that the world will act, and the world will act together."
Ashton, standing beside Clinton, echoed that sentiment. "We stand together with the United States" on Iran, she said.
"We want to have dialogue," Ashton said, adding, however, that six years of talks with Iran on the issue "have not brought us to the outcome that we wish."
"So we do have to consider what else needs to be done, and we stand ready to do that," Ashton said.
The U.S. and the E.U. are major players in a drive to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium in exchange for incentives. Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian energy production, but the U.S. and its allies suspect it is trying to develop atomic weapons.