Webb, appearing in NBC's "Meet the Press," said the delicate re-establishment of dialogue with Iran would provide a means of both finding out what Tehran's intentions were and getting the international community involved.
"I think we have the formula through which we can now fully explore that issue," Webb said when asked if he though Iran's goal was developing nuclear weapons. "I'm not going to sit here in the United States Senate and make that judgment. But we do have the process in place where we can fully explore that issue in a way that will hold them publicly accountable."
Webb said China would be a key player in a peaceful resolution due to its status as a major Iranian trading partner.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said on the same program that international cooperation would be an important ingredient in resolving the dispute; however, he added that the United States had not exhausted its options for unilateral sanctions.