WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- As mounting sanction pressure on Iran, the Obama administration continues voicing its "dual-track" approach to Tehran, saying Washington remains "open to engagement" with Iran over its nuclear program.
"We remain open to engagement. But they do know what they have to do. They have to reassure the international community by words and actions as to what their nuclear program is intended for," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the New York Times in an interview.
According to the interview transcript released by the State Department on Sunday, Secretary Clinton said Washington believes that the sanctions have "the best potential for changing Iranian behavior," and that the effects of the sanctions were "beginning to bite" the Gulf country.
The United States and its Western allies worry that Tehran may obtain the uranium fuel needed for developing nuclear weapons. That claim was rejected by the Iranian government, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purpose only.
The Obama administration has tried the "dual-track" strategy, a combination of diplomatic mediation and economic sanctions, to bring the international community together to make Iranian leaders realize the "importance of changing their actions and decisions concerning their nuclear program."
After pushing the UN Security Council to adopt Resolution 1929 for imposing more sanctions on Iran in June, the Obama administration has been trying to make more countries take unilateral sanctions against Tehran.