By VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States has begun talks with its international partners on the consequences of Iran's failure to respond to a proposed nuclear deal. Speaking in South Korea Thursday, President Obama said a package of potential steps will be developed during the next several weeks with the aim of sending a "clear message" to Iran.
He said he continues to hold out the hope that Iran will decide to accept the United Nations-brokered plan, which involves sending its uranium abroad for further enrichment.
But Iran's ISNA news agency quoted the foreign minister Wednesday as saying his country will only consider a uranium-for-fuel swap inside Iran.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Manochehr Mottaki's comments do not inspire the Obama administration's confidence that Iran will accept the International Atomic Energy Agency proposal.
Iran's envoy to the IAEA said the main problem was a lack of trust between Iran and the United States. Asghar Soltanieh said Wednesday that his government wants a guarantee that it will receive fuel for its Tehran reactor.
The IAEA last month drafted a deal under which Iran would send more than 70-percent of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France, where it would be turned into fuel for the Tehran medical research reactor.
The proposal is aimed at easing concerns about Iran's nuclear program, which Western nations say is aimed at creating weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
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