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Iranian threat

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Another round of diplomatic talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear programs ended in failure.

Tehran is pursuing a nuclear program, which they say is intended for peaceful purposes but the United States and other world powers fear is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel and other Mideast countries. Diplomatic talks have been held between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, France and Great Britain plus Germany, also known as the P5+1 group — for several years, seeking to persuade Iran to halt uranium production.

Once again, Iran has rejected an offer by the six powers to relax international sanctions, if it would suspend its uranium enrichment that could lead to production of bomb-grade material. Fearful of an nuclear-armed Iran, Israel has threatened a unilateral strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, which could lead to a wider, regional conflict.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the recent, failed negotiations between the six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program were disappointing.

However, he advised patience in objecting to another round of sanctions under consideration by Congress. Secretary Kerry urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to give diplomacy more time and wait until after Iranian elections in June, which the administration hopes will bring to power Iranian leaders willing to reach an agreement.

A bill in the House would further limit Iranian oil sales and cut non-oil trade. Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk is preparing legislation that would impose an arms and shipping embargo on Iran.

Sen. Kerry said after the latest talks that it was “important to continue to talk and to try to find common ground,” but Terhan does not appear ready to take that step. Iran has shown no willingness to scale back its nuclear program, which it has hidden for decades while it takes advantage of stalled negotiations to further its nuclear program.

Another round of sanctions would take time to implement, but they would send a message to the next government of Tehran that it has to suspend its nuclear program and open it to international inspection to ensure its peaceful intent.

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