The US State Department on Monday criticized Iran's partial suspension of cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog agency, calling it a "step in the wrong direction."
Iran announced the cutback in ties with the International Atomic Energy Agency after the decision Saturday by the UN Security Council to impose additional sanctions against Iran.
State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey held out the possibility of future multilateral discussions with Iran if they show flexibility on the uranium enrichment issue.
There is a continued willingness on the part of the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany "to engage in negotiations with the Iranians should they choose to go in that direction," he said.
"Unfortunately," he added, "President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad seems intent on taking Iran down the wrong path."