U.S. intelligence officials have suggested that Iran may still be open to negotiations to resolve the international dispute over what Washington suspects is a covert nuclear weapons program being pursued by the Islamic republic.
U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on January 31 that a combination of Western sanctions and diplomacy could still persuade Iran to abandon nuclear work which could be diverted toward an atomic weapon.
He said a military conflict was not inevitable.
The director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), David Petraeus, said the latest round of Western sanctions on Iran has put serious economic pressure on the Iranian regime, as has Saudi Arabia's boost of oil production to replace Iranian fuel that has been banned from some international markets.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Compiled from agency reports