"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she doesn't believe Iran can convince the U.S. and other world powers that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, putting Tehran on course for tougher economic penalties beyond the current "leaky sanctions."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates played down the effectiveness of military strikes against Iran's newly disclosed secret uranium-enriching facility. Gates and Clinton said economic and diplomatic pressure would have a better chance of changing Iranian policies.
"The reality is, there is no military option that does anything more than buy time," he told CNN's "State of the Union" in an interview broadcast Sunday.
"The Iranians are in a very bad spot now because of this deception, in terms of all of the great powers. And there obviously is the opportunity for severe additional sanctions."
The nuclear program, which Iran claims is designed to generate electricity, is at the top of the agenda at a meeting Thursday in Geneva involving diplomats from Iran, the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.
The Iranians must "present convincing evidence as to the purpose of their nuclear program. We don't believe that they can present convincing evidence, that it's only for peaceful purposes, but we are going to put them to the test," Clinton told CBS' "Face the Nation."
She told the Iranian government: "Don't assert it, prove it. ... They can't say anything because they've said that for years, but they can open their entire system to the kind of extensive investigation that the facts call for."
"If we don't get the answers that we are expecting and the changes in behavior that we're looking for, then we will work with our partners to move toward sanctions," Clinton added."
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