WASHINGTON, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The United States said Monday that Iran's refusal to cooperate with the international community would only deepen the world's concern over its nuclear program, though it added that the door on negotiating with Tehran still open.
"It is worrisome that Iran has taken this step, which is symptomatic of its longstanding practice of intimidating inspectors," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters, referring to Iran's ban on two UN inspectors from visiting its nuclear facilities.
Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday announced the ban because the two inspectors "presented false reports on Iran's nuclear activities."
"Reducing cooperation with the IAEA will only deepen the world' s concern with respect to its nuclear program," said Crowley, adding that Iran's move would not "engender or encourage" the international community to believe that its program is "peaceful in nature."
The United States remains focused on strategy of implementing and enforcing the sanctions while making clear that the diplomatic option remains available to Iran, said Crowley.
On June 9, the UN Security Council voted to impose a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, which the West suspects aims at developing nuclear weapons, a charge resolutely denied by Tehran.