U.S. has obligation to try diplomacy with Iran

The U.S. has an obligation to try diplomacy with Iran and attempt to resolve the issue of the country's nuclear program peacefully, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Friday during her daily press briefing. When asked if Israel was sending a conflicting message about how the U.S. is handling diplomacy with Iran, Harf said the U.S. agrees with Israel in several key areas.

"We both agree that words aren't enough; we need to see actions," Harf said. "We both agree that they can't be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that we're going to continue working diplomatically with the P5+1 to see if we can resolve this peacefully. We also both agree that the sanctions are the reason that the Iranians indeed may be using more conciliatory tones today. But what we're all focused on is seeing what they come with substantively."

Harf said that while the U.S. may not believe the Iranian nuclear threat is imminent, both the U.S. and Israel agree that Iran's nuclear program is the highest national security priority. She said this is why President Obama was clear that the U.S. will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. She said all options remain on the table to keep Iran from obtaining such a weapon.

"But I think it's also important to be clear here, heading into next week when we'll be in Geneva, that we have an obligation to try diplomacy, to try and resolve this peacefully, in part - in large part because the alternative has a lot of incredibly grave consequences that would go along with it," Harf said. "There's a reason for everybody's sake that a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis would be preferable."