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US: Diplomacy won’t be last resort if Iran resists nuclear negotiations

The United States has warned that although diplomacy is its primary means of halting Iran’s nuclear programme, it’s not the last option if Tehran remains reluctant to negotiate over it.

“Diplomacy is always going to be our first resort, but if we aren’t met with a willing partner on the other end, it won’t be our last resort,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Thursday.

“So we’re always engaged in consultations with allies and partners around the world about this challenge because it is a challenge that has implications for our friends around the world,” he said.

The State Department remarks came in response to a question on Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant’s comments during a press conference with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“The Iranian nuclear threat requires us to be prepared for every course of action,” Gallant said.

Asked whether the US shares the same assessment, Price said Washington viewed Iran’s nuclear programme as an urgent challenge.

“We have a solemn commitment that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon. We are determined to make good on that commitment,” Price added.

Expressing concern about Iran’s advances in uranium enrichment, he noted that the solution to the challenges posed by Iran’s nuclear programme could only be achieved through diplomacy.

Austin, speaking at the joint news conference with Gallant, also said he had a frank discussion with Israeli leaders about the need to de-escalate tensions with the Palestinians. 

READ MORE: UN nuclear chief hopeful for ‘important agreements’ during Iran visit

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