This month, for the first time in over a year, Iran met for talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia, and the U.S. – along with Germany, the group known as the P5+1.
The two-day meeting was held in Geneva, and took place six months after the Security Council imposed its fourth and toughest round of economic sanctions on Iran because of its failure to live up to its international nuclear obligations. Iran and the P5+1 have agreed to meet again next month in Istanbul, Turkey.
Speaking in Bahrain shortly before the Geneva talks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized that the United States remains committed to the sincere offer of dialogue that President Barack Obama offered Iran when he assumed office two years ago.
But the position of the international community is clear, Secretary Clinton said. Iran has the right to a peaceful nuclear program; but Iran must comply with its nuclear obligations, and fully address the world's concern about its nuclear activities.
"We know that Iran is home to one of humankind's great civilizations," said Secretary Clinton. "The Iranian people are heirs to that tradition with tremendous potential to contribute to the world we are building together. And the world in turn would benefit from the full participation of the Iranian nation in the political, social and economic life of this region.
"We continue to make this offer of engagement with respect to [Iran's] sovereignty and with regard to [its] interests," she said. "But also with an iron clad commitment to defending global security and the world's interests in a peaceful and prosperous Gulf region."