Reporting from Washington — The Obama administration said Friday that it was planning additional economic sanctions against Iran and acknowledged that the Islamic Republic might be trying to manipulate the West by continuing slow-moving talks with the U.S. and five other major powers.
Gary Samore, the top White House official on nonproliferation, said in a speech in Washington that the U.S. and its allies would increase pressure on Tehran until it agreed to negotiations on its disputed nuclear program.
The West, he said, would "test how high Iran's pain threshold is."
Samore didn't specify what kind of punishment the administration was contemplating. But Western officials have said the next step would be to stiffen a round of sanctions imposed in July that seek to cut off international financing for Iran, restrict its trade and retard investment in its lucrative energy sector.
Samore's speech represents a striking shift from the administration's position Tuesday during discussions with Iran in Geneva, when U.S. officials said progress was being made at the meeting, which was also attended by China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain.