US President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that diplomacy remains the first choice in the settlement of Iran's nuclear disputes.
"In the short term ... we'll keep diplomacy going, knitted up with as many nations as possible," Bush said as he answered questions at an appearance in Florida.
Bush attached importance to a meeting in New York on Monday of the six major powers to try to find a strategy to force Iran to give up uranium enrichment. But he declined to talk about economic sanctions against Iran.
Instead, the president said "I think it's very important for good negotiators to keep their cards close to the chest and at the appropriate time, make it clear what our intentions are. This is a serious issue, taking a lot of our time as it should."
Foreign ministers of the United Nations Security Council's five permanent member states (Britain, China, France, Russia and United States) plus Germany met in New York later Monday to map out a common strategy to force Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities. But the meeting failed to reach an agreement.
Washington has been trying to press the UN Security Council to pass a resolution against Iran under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.
"A Chapter 7 resolution compels countries to change their behavior if they are defying the international community. It has the force of international law," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said last week.
(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2006)