Speaking at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rice said Washington is examining the full range of possible punitive sanctions on Iran.
The United States already prohibits the purchase of Iranian oil, one of a number of restrictons it has imposed.
"No one wants to deny the Iranian people or the Iranian nation civil nuclear power," she said, but "many different options have been put before Iran. They have chosen to isolate themselves instead."
The West fears that Iran may have a covert atomic bomb program. Iran maintains that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.
Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also called on Iran to suspend all nuclear-fuel enrichment work. But he reiterated Moscow's opposition to sanctions.
The Iranian Defense Ministry stated again on 15 February that Tehran is ready to defend itself against any threats.
Iran's determination to continue with its program was also underlined by a surprise visit paid by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to the Natanz uranium-enrichment plant.
(compiled from agency reports)
READOn 4 February, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency approved in a 27-3 vote a resolution to report the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council. The key section of the resolution is Section 1, which states that the Board of Governors:
Underlines that outstanding questions can best be resolved and confidence built in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's program by Iran responding positively to the calls for confidence-building measures which the Board has made on Iran, and in this context deems it necessary for Iran to:
- reestablish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and processing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
- reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
- ratify promptly and implement in full Additional Protocol;
- pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol with Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
- implement the transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, which extend beyond the former requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations.
COMPLETE TEXT: To read the final resolution, with late-hour changes highlighted, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.