Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon, an allegation the government denies.
Tehran in recent months has suggested it was ready to return to negotiations to discuss the nuclear situation with the international community. Media reports before the U.S. presidential elections suggested Washington and Tehran were moving closer to bilateral talks to tackle the issue.
Obama, during his first news conference since re-election, said Wednesday his administration has made it "very clear" that Iran must be prevented from pursuing nuclear weapon technology.
"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," he said.
Saeed Jalili, secretary of Iran's national security council, said the Iranian government was ready to resume negotiations with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, on nuclear matters. Talks should begin "at the earliest" possibility, reported Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV.