Feb. 17 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says if talks resume with Iran about its nuclear program, the effort must be sustained. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says if major powers resume talks with Iran about its nuclear program, the discussion must be a sustained effort that can produce results. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON SAYING: "This response from the Iranian government is one we have been waiting for and, if we do proceed, it will have to be a sustained effort that can produce results," Clinton spoke at a news conference with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who received a letter from Iran earlier in the week proposing reopening talks on Iran's nuclear program. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF CATHERINE ASHTON: "I think it is good to see that the letter has arrived and there is the potential, the possibility, that Iran is ready to start talks. I am cautious and optimistic at the same time." The meeting comes days after Iran touted advances in its nuclear technology -- with Iranian State TV airing video of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad loading nuclear fuel rods into a reactor. The West accuses Tehran of using its nuclear program to pursue weapons capability and has slapped sanctions on the country's oil industry which have hit the wider economy hard. Iran rejects the charge and insists its program is purely for peaceful nuclear power generation purposes. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.