Carney: Time for diplomacy on Iran nukes

Feb. 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday the United States is determined to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons but there is still time for diplomacy.

"Concerns about Iran's rogue behavior, its pursuit of nuclear weapons technology and nuclear weapons is not limited to the United States, Europe or Israel," Carney told reporters at the White House. "It's shared by countries around the world, and countries within the region. The threat that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons technology presents is clear to Israel, it's clear to the United States and its allies, but it's also clear to the countries in the regions for whom the beginning of a nuclear arms race would have terrible and unpredictable effects on those countries."

Carney said international inspectors in Iran have some access to monitor nuclear activities, providing diplomatic breathing room among sanctions and other possible military measures to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons.

"There are IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors in Iran who monitor nuclear facilities there. We do have, therefore, vision into Iran's nuclear programs and … monitor their activity and have certain insight into their activity. For that reason and others, we believe there is time and space to pursue a diplomatic path, a path that intensifies the sanctions, intensifies the isolation, and attempts, through unified international action, to get the Iranian regime to change its behavior.

However, diplomacy "does not mean that we are removing other options from the table," Carney said.

"All options remain on the table with regards to the way that we will deal with and we are dealing with Iran, even as we pursue a diplomatic path because we believe there is time and space to do that."

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