Washington: US President Barack Obama has all options available to him on the table to do what is necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, a top American official has said.
"The policy of the United States is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Containment is not the policy of the United States," US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told the popular Charlie Rose show.
"The President has all options available to him on the table to do what`s necessary to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons," he said.
"This is very important to say. You obviously don`t hope for these kinds of outcomes," he added.
The United States and other Western powers accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran deny.
"You hope for a rational outcome which would allow the Iranians again to come into the 21st Century and to engage in a legitimate economy and to engage in the kind of commerce with the world generally that that country should want to engage in," Donilon said.
"There shouldn`t be any doubt that this President has a pretty good record of doing what he says he`s going to do," Donilon said in response to a question.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that the US approach is to encourage Iran to come clean about what`s going on with its nuclear programme.
"If it takes steps, we will take steps in response. That has not changed. But we have to get back to the table if we’re going to be able to test it," she said.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the P5-plus-1 has proposed concrete dates and a venue ever since early December.
After these initial proposals were not agreed to by Iran, the P5-plus-1`s latest proposal is the week of February 25 in Kazakhstan. It is certainly good to hear that the Iranian Foreign Minister finally confirmed this date and location.
"We hope the negotiating team from Iran will also confirm their participation," he said.
"It is time for Iran to come back to the negotiating table as soon as possible so that we can start dealing with substance again, and make concrete progress regarding the international community’s concerns and the nature of the Iranian nuclear program," Carney said.