Briefing | Obama: Will 'Make a Push' for Dialogue with Iran on Nuclear Program
15 Nov 2012 01:57
Says negotiations won't be "constrained by diplomatic niceties or protocols," but talks not imminent.[ transcript ] In President Barack Obama's Wednesday afternoon press conference, his first in eight months, he addressed the issue of negotiations over the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program. In the following passage, he responds to questions posed by Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Company newspaper chain.
[O]n Iran, are you preparing a final diplomatic push here to resolve the -- the nuclear program issue? And are we headed toward one-on-one talks?
[...] With respect to Iran, I very much want to see a diplomatic resolution to the problem. I was very clear before the campaign, I was clear during the campaign and I'm now clear after the campaign -- we're not going to let Iran get a nuclear weapon. But I think there is still a window of time for us to resolve this diplomatically. We've imposed the toughest sanctions in history. It is having an impact on Iran's economy.
There should be a way in which they can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while still meeting their international obligations and providing clear assurances to the international community that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon. And so yes, I will try to make a push in the coming months to see if we can open up a dialogue between Iran and not just us but the international community, to see if we can get this thing resolved. I can't promise that Iran will walk through the door that they need to walk though, but that would be very much the preferable option.
And the -- [inaudible] -- conversation picked up?
I won't talk about the details of negotiations, but I think it's fair to say that we want to get this resolved and we're not going to be constrained by diplomatic niceties or protocols. If Iran is serious about wanting to resolve this, they'll be in a position to resolve it.
At one point just prior to the election, there was talk that talks might be imminent --
That was -- that was not true, and it's not -- it's not true as -- as of today, OK?
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