Yukiya Amano IAEA 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), said on Friday that dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program was
continuing, Reuters reported.
"The proposal is on the table. Dialogue is
continuing," Amano reportedly told a panel on nuclear proliferation
in the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.
"I hope agreement will be reached and I continue to
work as intermediary. This will...help increase confidence in the (Iranian) nuclear
issue," Amano was quoted as saying in his first public remarks on the
standoff since he succeeded Mohamed ElBaradei two months ago.
Amano’s remarks come a day after US Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Islamic republic was leaving the world no recourse but to apply penalties aimed at curbing a
fast-track nuclear program.
"Our efforts to apply pressure on Iran are not meant to punish the
Iranian people. They are meant to change the approach the Iranian government
has taken toward its nuclear program," said on Thursday.
Obama administration officials have invited new talks with Teheran, but with no sign that Iran wants to
do business, the focus has turned to penalties.
On Wednesday night,
US President Barack Obama warned Teheran in his first State of Union address, declaring that Iranian intransigence
over its nuclear program would result in consequences.
Reminding Iranian leaders of the sanctions imposed against Iran, he
stressed to applause, “They, too, will face growing consequences. That is a
promise.” He said that already “the Islamic Republic is more isolated” because
of its continued defiance of international demands that it halt its nuclear
AP and Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report