Speaking to reporters after a recent meeting in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on the government of Iran to take steps to resolve concerns over its nuclear program.
In January in Istanbul, talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, known as the P5+1, proved fruitless when Iran refused to talk seriously about its nuclear activities and ways it could restore international confidence in its intentions.
Secretary of State Clinton said that "the burden remains on Iran to demonstrate it is prepared to end its stalling tactics, drop its unacceptable preconditions, and start addressing the international community's concerns."
Currently, the Iranian government's refusal to comply with its international nuclear obligations has resulted in six United Nations Security Council resolutions, four of which impose targeted sanctions measures on Iran to pressure it to change course. Additional sanctions measures to complement those imposed by the Security Council have been imposed by individual countries, including the U.S., the E.U., and several other countries.
U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said recently in Washington, that like all parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, "Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear energy; but it also has a responsibility to fulfill its obligations:"
"It can act to restore the confidence of the international community in the purposes of its nuclear program by fully complying with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and UN Security Council resolutions, or it can continue to shirk its international obligations which will only increase its isolation and the consequences for the regime. There is no escaping or evading this choice."
"President [Barack] Obama," said National Security Advisor Donilon, "has long understood the regional and international consequences of Iran becoming a nuclear weapons' state. That is why we are committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. . . . .Unless and until Iran complies with its obligations under the NPT and all relevant UN Security Council resolutions," Mr. Donilon said, "we will continue to ratchet up the pressure."