(JTA) — The Obama administration wants to "keep the door to dialogue open" with Iran, Hillary Clinton said.
The U.S. secretary of state told reporters Monday evening that although the United States has avoided using the term deadline, it cannot wait indefinitely to hear from Iran about curtailing its nuclear program and has begun talking to its international partners about "pressure and sanctions."
"Our goal is to pressure the Iranian government, particularly the Revolutionary Guard elements, without contributing to the suffering" of Iranians, "who deserve better than what they currently are receiving," Clinton said in answer to a reporter’s question during a news conference with the prime minister of Qatar.
Clinton said the Obama administration is "disappointed" by Iran’s response and counter offer to a proposal for shipping Iran’s low-enriched uranium to a third country to further enrich it for use in a medical research reactor. This would have left Iran with very little uranium for at least a year.
Iran offered instead to swap low enriched uranium for further enriched uranium on Iranian soil.
Iran welcomed Clinton’s comments.
"We share the same idea with her," Iranian government spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday. "Deadlines are meaningless."