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Clinton: Talks with Iran must address nuclear issue

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States has made clear to Iran that any talks "must address the nuclear issue head on."

The U.S. secretary of state told reporters Tuesday that the nuclear issue "cannot be ignored" and emphasized that "we’re not going to be talking for the sake of talking, and we’re not engaging in a process that has no purpose or endpoint."

"We have no illusions about the Iranian government," she said. "But the point is to meet and explain to the Iranians, face to face, the choices that Iran has and to see whether Iran is prepared to engage with us around its nuclear program."

The U.S. and its partners in the P5+1 — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — are scheduled to meet with Iran on Oct. 1. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns will lead the U.S. delegation.

Clinton also said that the United States has "adopted a two-track approach" that includes the Oct. 1 meeting and "working with the international community on consequences that would flow if Iran fails to fulfill their international obligations on their nuclear program."

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