U.S. President Barack Obama is demanding that Iran give international inspectors complete access to its newly-disclosed nuclear facility. The president spoke after Iranian representatives met in Switzerland with the U.S. and five other world powers.
President Obama says Thursday's meeting was a constructive beginning, but he says the Iranian government must now take constructive action.
Specifically, he wants Iran to allow United Nations nuclear inspectors complete access to its recently-revealed atomic facility. "Since Iran has now agreed to cooperate fully and immediately with the International Atomic Energy Agency, it must grant unfettered access to IAEA inspectors within two weeks," he said.
The U.S., Britain and France recently presented evidence that Iran has been building a secret nuclear facility in the city of Qom.
Mr. Obama is calling on Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. "If Iran takes concrete steps and lives up to its obligations, there is a path toward a better relationship with the United States, increased integration for Iran within the international community, and a better future for all Iranians," he said.
The president says Iran's promise during the talks to send some of its uranium to another country for processing is a step in the right direction. "We support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear power. Taking the step of transferring its low-enriched uranium to a third country would be a step towards building confidence that Iran's program is, in fact, peaceful," he said.
Iranian representatives met at a Swiss villa Thursday with negotiators from the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. It was the first time in 30 years that the U.S. has taken part in direct talks with Iran.
Despite the talks, Mr. Obama says Iran must act and act soon. "We are committed to serious and meaningful engagement, but we are not interested in talking for the sake of talking. If Iran does not take steps in the near future to live up to its obligations, then the United States will not continue to negotiate indefinitely, and we are prepared to move toward increased pressure," he said.
The president says Thursday's meeting represents intense international negotiations, but he reminded reporters that hard work lies ahead.