WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday called the UN nuclear watchdog's progress toward an agreement with Iran a step forward but said it would keep pressuring Tehran until it sees concrete actions on the Iranian nuclear program.

"Promises are one thing, actions and fulfillment of obligations are another," White House spokesman Jay Carney said when asked about the International Atomic Energy Agency's announcement it was close to a deal to unblock monitoring of Iran's suspected work on atom bombs.

"We will continue to pressure Tehran, continue to move forward with the sanctions that will be corning online as the year progresses," Carney told a news briefing.

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