U.S. says ball is in Iran's court regarding nuclear talks

Iran must take the necessary steps to comply with international obligations if it is to have direct talks with the U.S. about its nuclear program, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

Jen Psaki, the State Department's spokesperson, made the remarks on Friday during her daily press conference. Psaki responded to a question about recent reports that Iran expressed interest in direct talks with the U.S. related to Iran's nuclear program. She said the U.S. is open to direct talks, but Iran must first show that it is willing to fulfill its international obligations.

"We're open to direct talks with Iran in order to resolve the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program," Psaki said. "The ball is in Iran's court to take the necessary steps to abide by (its) international obligations. And that has not changed."

When asked if Secretary of State John Kerry had a reaction to a bipartisan group of lawmakers working on a bill that would tighten sanctions on Iran, Psaki had no comment on the draft legislation.

"I would just say that, obviously, the secretary's position is what I just conveyed, which is that the ball is in Iran's court," Psaki said. "We've continued to put in place crippling sanctions on Iran, and we are working through the P-5+1 process."