WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The White House is continuing its tough talk toward Iran.
A day after Vice President Biden said President Obama is “not bluffing” about using military force to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, Secretary of State John Kerry warns “the clock is ticking” on the Tehran regime.
“This is not an indefinite period of negotiations and we are not going to negotiate for the sake of negotiations,” Kerry told CBS News, adding that Iran is “running the clock.”
The talk of Iran’s nuclear program has ratcheted up ahead of Obama’s trip to Israel later this month.
Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, but the head of the U.N. nuclear agency, Yukiya Amano, said he cannot guarantee all of Iran’s activities are peaceful unless Tehran increases cooperation.
Kerry says Iran needs to step up in talks to reach a resolution over its nuclear program.
“If Iran steps up in good faith and is prepared to take steps to prove that their program is peaceful, I’m confident President Obama will meet them in an appropriate way in order to get where we want to go which is to a peaceful resolution of this problem,” Kerry said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that action needs to be taken to put an end to Tehran’s attempt to a nuclear weapon.
“From the bottom of my heart and from the clarity of my brain, words alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions alone will not stop Iran,” Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference.
Obama and Netanyahu have clashed over how to deal with Iran with the White House wanting to take a more diplomatic approach with sanctions while Israel has been pushing a military strike.
Obama will also visit Jordan and Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories during his overseas trip.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)