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U.S. says there is still time for diplomacy with Iran on nuclear program

12-02-2010 09:25 BJT

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns said on Wednesday that there is still time for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program.

Burns made the remarks, while testifying alongside with Stuart Levey, U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Burns said that the door to serious negotiations is open if Iran is prepared to do so.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will flight to Geneva next week to participate in Iran nuclear talks.

Ashton is due to have talks with Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saaed Jalili next Monday and Tuesday, on behalf of the P5+1, namely the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany.

At the testimony, Burns said the sanctions by the United Nations and United States together may inflict a loss of 50 billion to 60 billion U.S. dollars on Iran in potential energy investments and other sectors.

Levey said the sanctions made it more difficult for Iran to access international financial service.

The United States has been imposing sanctions on banks and front companies linked, owned or controlled by Iran, in an effort to isolate it from the international financial system and hence undermine its capacity to develop nuclear program.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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