Joe Biden said that the United States is open to the possibility of direct talks with Iran over its nuclear development program.
The vice president's comments come as Iran is facing what he called "the most robust sanctions in history" over its uranium enrichment, Reuters reported.
Indirect talks with Iran via the the United Nations Security Council and Germany have so far not yielded any results, and have stalled in recent months, CNN reported.
The lack of results from that effort has put pressure on the US government to come up with a renewed strategy for easing relations with Tehran, according to CNN.
“Our policy is not containment,” the vice president said from a security conference in Munich. “It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
“The ball is in the government of Iran’s court,” Biden continued, saying that negotiation can happen if their aims are “real and tangible, and there has to be an agenda that they’re prepared to speak to. We are not just prepared to do it for the exercise," the Washington Post reported.
Biden did not set any timeline for these negotiations.
Tehran maintains that it is enriching uranium for civilian power purposes and not nuclear weapons, despite the widely-held belief among the US and other nations that it is expanding its capability to build nuclear warheads.
Iran has defied UN demands and continued to expand the program instead of scale it back, CBS News reported.
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