U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States must be willing to engage in diplomacy with Iran. Speaking late Monday with a Dubai-based television network Al-Arabiya, Mr. Obama repeated his inaugural address pledge to extend a hand to countries such as Iran if they are "willing to unclench their fist."
Can US live with nuclear Iran?
In the interview with al-Arabiya, Mr.
Obama was asked if the U.S. would ever live with a nuclear Iran. He did not
answer directly, but said that Iran has pursued nuclear weapons, and that is not
conducive to peace and prosperity.
He said other unhelpful actions include Iran's threats against Israel and its past support of terrorist groups.
Mr. Obama also noted that "the Iranian people are a great people and Persian civilization is a great civilization."
During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama pledged that his administration would use all tools of U.S. power - including diplomacy - to engage the Islamic nation.
Iran has been under three sets of international sanctions for failing to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
Western nations suspect Iran is pursuing nuclear technology in order to produce nuclear weapons, but Iran insists the program is for peaceful purposes.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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