April 27th, 2010
05:51 PM ET

Iran looms over Israeli minister's meetings in U.S.

The United States is seeking tough new sanctions "to sharpen the choices that Iran's leaders face" after weekend talks between the Iranian government and the International Atomic Energy Agency failed to make progress on a deal over Iran's nuclear program, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met this weekend in Vienna, Austria, with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, but no headway was made on a plan for Iran to ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France to be converted into fuel for a medical research reactor.

Iran initially agreed to the offer when it was made in October, but later rejected it.

"So far as we are aware, based on the readout of the meeting between the Iranian foreign minister and the director general of the IAEA, there was nothing new that was presented," Clinton told reporters after a meeting with the president of the European parliament. "We still don't have anything other than just an ongoing effort to try to influence public opinion as opposed to sitting down and providing an answer on the outstanding offer on the [Tehran Research Reactor], which is many, many months old now."

"Iran's continued disregard for its international obligations underscores the importance of united international pressure to change its policies," Clinton added.

Iran was high on the agenda in talks between Clinton and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Washington on Tuesday. Barak left the State Department for further talks on Iran with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iran • Israel