Gates: Diplomacy with Iran is 'working'

47 minutes ago

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff with Iran over its disputed nuclear program are "working" and should be given a chance to succeed.

Both the U.S. and Israel accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons a charge Iran denies. Gates said the international community "is united in telling Iran what it needs to do with respect to its nuclear program."

The U.S. and its allies have led efforts to pass two U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to develop nuclear weapons.

"We agreed it was important to deal with the Iranian nuclear problem through diplomacy, which appears to be working," Gates said at a news conference with his Israeli counterpart, Amir Peretz.

"These things don't work overnight, but it seems to me clearly the preferable course to keep our focus on the diplomatic initiatives, and particularly because of the united front of the international community at this point," he added.