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Clinton Says US Expects 'Concrete Commitments' From Iran Nuclear Talks

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the media after a conference of foreign ministers in Istanbul, Turkey, April 1, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the media after a conference of foreign ministers in Istanbul, Turkey, April 1, 2012.

The United States is expecting “concrete commitments” from this month's nuclear talks with Tehran, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful civilian purposes and is not designed to develop atomic weapons.

Secretary Clinton says President Obama has made clear the United States and its international partners are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But she says there is still time and space for sanctions and diplomacy to work.

Iran is preparing for nuclear talks later this month with the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany. Secretary Clinton says those talks will not be an open-ended session “for both parties to talk around each other without ever coming to an agreement.”

“We expect to see concrete commitments from Iran that it will come clean on its nuclear program and live up to its international obligations,” she said

Iran's apparent willingness to return to nuclear talks follows moves by the United States and European Union to tighten sanctions on Iran's banking sector and reduce purchases of Iranian oil. Secretary Clinton says Iran is using that oil revenue to help fund its nuclear program.

“We are maintaining a full-court press [maximum pressure] against the regime, enforcing the most comprehensive package of sanctions in history and further isolating Iran from the international community," said Clinton. "This sustained pressure is bringing Iran's leaders back to the negotiating table, and we hope that it will result in a plan of action that will resolve our disagreements peacefully.”

The last round of talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group broke down in Istanbul in January 2011. Secretary Clinton is proposing to hold the next round of talks in Istanbul on April 13.

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