U.S. willing to talk with Iran if it forsakes nuclear weapon ambitions

The U.S. is open to discussions with Iran through the P5+1 and bilateral talks if Iran is willing to give up its ambitions for nuclear weapons, the White House said on Monday.

Jay Carney, the press secretary of the White House, made the statement on Monday as part of a daily press briefing in Washington. Carney responded to a question about Iran's recent inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani and the ongoing nuclear threat Iran poses to the world. He said the inauguration gives Iran a chance to change its position on nuclear weapons.

"The inauguration of the new president presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community's deep concerns over Iran's nuclear weapons program," Carney said. "Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue it will find a willing partner in the United States."

Carney said that if Iran was willing to forsake its nuclear weapons ambitions in a verifiable way, it could reenter the international community, benefiting the Iranian people, the region and the world at large.

"Now, as we've said consistently, we are open to discussions with Iran both through the P5+1 and through bilateral talks," Carney said. "The focus of those talks would be, and needs to be, on Iran's willingness to forsake its nuclear weapons ambitions. And should it be willing to do that in a verifiable way, there's an opportunity for Iran to reenter the international community, to ease the burden of its isolation, and thereby to do what the new leadership in Iran has identified as its goal, which is to improve the lot of the Iranian people. And that would be both very good news for the Iranian people, as well as for the region and the world."