U.S. Ready for Negotiations but Time is Short

December 11, 2012

            On December 8, Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns said that the United States is ready for negotiations if Iran is “serious about meeting its international obligations” on its nuclear program. He spoke at the Manama Dialogue, a regional security summit convened by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Government officials, businesspeople, economists and strategic thinkers from across the world attended the dialogue. The following is an excerpt from Burns’ statement.

            First is security, and in particular meeting the urgent challenges posed by Iran’s reckless behavior across a wide front, and the related imperative of accelerating a transition to the new leadership which the Syrian people so deeply deserve. We share with the rest of the international community a profound concern about Iran’s continuing refusal to meet its nuclear obligations, and a profound commitment to intensifying economic and political pressure until it does – pressure which has already resulted in a fifty percent drop in the value of Iran’s currency and a similar drop in oil exports. As Secretary Clinton made clear again last week, the United States is ready for a serious negotiation, along with our P5+1 partners, if Iran is serious about meeting its international obligations. But time for negotiation is growing short, given the worrisome pace of Iran’s nuclear program and mounting regional and international concerns. Meanwhile, beyond the nuclear issue, we see a continuing pattern of Iranian and Iranian-proxy threats around the world, from Bangkok to Bulgaria, and especially in this region. 
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