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US Lawmakers Call for 'Hard-Nosed' Approach With Iran

Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh (R) briefs the media during a board of governors meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 8, 2012.
Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh (R) briefs the media during a board of governors meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 8, 2012.

Leading U.S. lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to take an even tougher stance with Iran over its nuclear program, questioning whether expanding economic sanctions are making a difference.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Democrat John Kerry, called Iran and its nuclear program the "biggest foreign policy challenge facing the U.S." during a hearing Wednesday. He said sanctions alone are unlikely to make Iran change course and called for Washington to engage in what he called "hard-nosed diplomacy."  

The committee's leading Republican lawmaker, Senator Richard Lugar, also warned that Iran has refused to change "even as its isolation has grown." He said Tehran needs to understand it must choose between pursuing its nuclear program or preserving Iran's economic viability.

The lawmakers said the U.S. is keeping all options on the table, including the use of military force.

Iran denies Western claims it is trying to develop atomic weapons and says its nuclear activities are purely for power generation and medical research purposes.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that he expects renewed talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France, plus Germany - to begin April 13.

The group, known as the P5+1, reaffirmed its support for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue earlier this month. But in a statement, the group also voiced "regret" about Iran's escalating campaign to enrich uranium, and urged Tehran to open its Parchin military site to inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Kerry said the prospect of a military confrontation gives "added urgency" to the upcoming talks.

A spokesman for European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton said there is no agreement on a time or place for the talks. But Salehi told Iranian state media Wednesday that a site will be set in the next few days.

Iran wants the meeting to take place in the Turkish city Istanbul, where a previous round of talks broke down in January 2011.

Salehi welcomed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran on Wednesday for meetings with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other officials.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying no one has the right to "impose anything" on a country using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. He also said, though, "Anyone who has common sense is against nuclear weapons. And so no one has the right or the entitlement to impose such a thing."

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by: BB
March 31, 2012 5:31 AM
In all the world , containment of radioactive material is a goal.
If the usa and israel bomb a nuclear site , radioactive material will spread in the atmosphere for thousands of miles.
Causing a Nuclear Disaster is Very Bad, and a criminal act!

by: mervin
March 28, 2012 11:00 PM
Gone are days of military threats and the likes.USA should learn to respect other national values.Iran has got every right to nuke technology,no more monopoly in this modern times.

by: jack nichols
March 28, 2012 9:49 PM
This isn't about nuclear weapons.This is about Iran selling oil over their new Exchange the IOB not in dollars. After Bretton Woods agreement was ended by Nixon going off the Gold standard in 1973. Only two countries other has threatened the petro dollar system they were Iraq, and Libya. Iran has of money, oil, and a huge Army. Plus Iran is allied with Russia and China. Either we start WW3 to preserve the Petrodollar system, or we don't and the dollar collapses.

by: jose
March 28, 2012 12:29 PM
Back in the early 80's the u.n. ordered a multi national peace keeping force to lebanon and irainian proxies murdered over 200 american marines and we owe those dirtbags for what they did, We still owe them to this day.

by: Paul Asbourne
March 28, 2012 11:20 AM
Its sad the Zionist (AIPAC) in america are forcing the government to go all the way with Iran, the Obama Admin needs to look after its own interest not defend a so called ally that keeps tarnishing its image, Im sorry to say this really looks very bad for USA

by: Schumer
March 28, 2012 10:57 AM
We in the US have to get to grip with our jewish financed and enslaved government. They have led us to countless wars in the recent past, cost trillions in tax dollars cost tens of thousands of US lives and costing the US public an absolute fortune at the gas pumps; the gas prices are high largely because of continuous war mongering by the jewish lobbies and their slaves in the US Senate. FOR GODS SAKE GIVE IT A REST AND LET US LIVE IN PEACE!

by: Sam
March 28, 2012 10:20 AM
Until the more powerful nations stop using military threats against smaller nations as a means of settling issues, nuclear dis-armament will remain a mirage. North Korea is an example of a country that has been spared an attack due to it's possession of nuclear weapons.

by: Muneertharayil
March 28, 2012 6:48 AM
You incinerated people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You burnt Iraqi children with depleted uranium. You wiped out the entire city of Falluja in Iraq. You do not like others to acquire Nuclear weapons !!!

"I wish everyone would throw away their weapons and live in peace. That way I could conquer the world with a butter knife"

by: rr777
March 28, 2012 6:47 AM
Why bother with these "ads" of Iran in nuclear talks. They always end in failure because they were never serious to begin with. They all look like uneducated bums.

by: Mohammad
March 28, 2012 6:23 AM
this is a nonsense.some one tell me which country on the earth has yet opened up its military site to the inspectors then Iran can be the second one. moreover,people with just tiny tiny of common senses would understand that Iran is member of the NPT so the countries or people who has concerned about spreading nuclear weapon or whatever should go and force the country who has the existing nuclear atomic bombs and not happy to sign the treaty
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