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U.S. sees "time and space" to resolve Iran nuclear issue diplomatically

(Xinhua)

08:37, August 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The White House insisted on Thursday that there is still "time and space" to resolve Iran's controversial nuclear issue diplomatically, as a new report by the United Nations nuclear watchdog came out pointing to the Islamic republic's doubled ability to enrich uranium.

"The window of opportunity to resolve this diplomatically remains open, but it will not remain open indefinitely," White House spokesman Jay Carney said, in direct response to the report unveiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) earlier in the day alleging Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges to 2,140 to enrich uranium at its Fordo nuclear facility.

"You know, we're closely studying the details of the report. But broadly speaking, it is not surprising that Iran is continuing to violate its obligations," Carney told reporters at a regular news briefing.

"As the report illustrates, we're in a position to closely observe Iran's program and to detect any effort by Iran to begin production of weapons grade uranium," he added.

Senior Israeli officials have warned time and again of preemptive military strikes on Iran's nuclear sites, a scenario Washington has sought to avoid at least before the presidential election on November 6.

"Our position has been that there is time and space, as I just reiterated, to resolve this diplomatically," Carney said in response to a possible Israeli attack.

"And as I just said, we have the ability to see clearly, have eyes on developments in the Iranian nuclear program," he added. “And as I've said in the past, we would know if they made a breakout move towards building a nuclear weapon."

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