Diplomatic window on Iran "shrinking," Obama warns
While the United States remain committed to finding a negotiated solution over Iran's nuclear programme, the window of opportunity for diplomacy is limited, US President Barack Obama warned Wednesday, dpa reported.
"I think they should understand that because the international community has applied so many sanctions, because we have employed so many of the options that are available to us to persuade Iran to take a different course, that the window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking," Obama said in a press conference after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Both leaders pointed to tough new sanctions on Iran and a European Union oil embargo as crucial in pressuring Iran and said they had sent a message to Tehran about the importance of renewed negotiations with the allies on the disputed nuclear programme.
But Obama cautioned that Iran had in the past used stalling tactics and not fulfilled its promises and that above all he wanted to be sure Iran did not acquire a nuclear weapon.
"We will do everything we can to resolve this diplomatically. But ultimately we've got to have somebody on the other side of the table who's taking this seriously, and I hope that the Iranian regime understands that, that this is their best bet for resolving this in a way that allows Iran to rejoin the community of nations and to prosper and feel secure themselves," he said.
Cameron noted the five UN Security Council members plus Germany are "serious" about the upcoming talks and will continue to mount pressure, but that Tehran must also meet its international obligations.
"As the president and I have said, nothing is off the table. That is essential for the safety of the region the wider world," he said.