Obama: No plans for one-on-one talks with Iran


"That was not true and it's not true as of today," Obama said, regarding reports in October that direct talks with Iran were being worked on by the administration.

However, the president noted he would "make a push in the coming months" to get Iran and other members of the international community to the negotiating table, "to see if we can get this thing resolved."

Multiple negotiations between Iran and members of the P5+1 group — the five permanent United Nations Security Council members and Germany — over the country's nuclear program have yielded little results.

Iran has repeatedly claimed its enrichment efforts are designed for purely peaceful purposes. The United States, Israel and other Western powers argue the program puts the country on the path to a nuclear weapon.

In the wake of those failed negotiations, the administration has levied harsh political and economic sanctions against Iran over its continued pursuit of nuclear technologies.

Most recently, the Treasury Department unleashed a new round of sanctions against a number of Iranian officials and agencies designed to punish the regime for rampant human-rights abuses and its continued role as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The new sanctions also sought to hammer Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. claims is the main state patron for the Iranian-based Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Those efforts, Obama said Wednesday, are already having the desired effect.

"We've imposed the toughest sanctions in history. It is having an impact on Iran's economy," the president said.

"There should be a way in which they can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while still meeting their international obligations and providing clear assurances to the international community that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon," he added.

That said, the president reiterated his commitment to a diplomatic solution to the growing animosity between the United States and Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

"I very much want to see a diplomatic resolution to the problem. I was very clear before the campaign, I was clear during the campaign, and I'm now clear after the campaign, we're not gonna let Iran get a nuclear weapon," Obama said.

"But I think there is still a window of time for us it resolve this diplomatically," he added.

But Obama made clear the administration would not be constrained by "diplomatic niceties or protocols" in its attempt to drive Iran to the bargaining table.

"I can't promise that Iran will walk through the door that they need to walk through, but that would be very much the preferable option," Obama said. "If Iran is serious about wanting to resolve this, they'll be in a position to resolve it."