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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned on Wednesday that the world has lost patience for Iranian foot-dragging regarding a possible return to bargaining over its nuclear program.
Rice said nations with an offer on the table won't let Iran use a fresh diplomatic overture as an excuse for further delay.
Traveling to Europe, where Iran is a central topic for President Bush's final trip there as president, Rice welcomed Europe's new willingness to consider additional coercive sanctions against Iran.
"I'm going to be attentive to it, and I think others will be attentive to any sense that Iran is trying to use this opportunity for them to stall, because I think that no one is of a mind to allow them to stall very much longer," Rice said.
The United States agreed last month to give Iran another chance to resume arms control talks by making small changes to the existing offer, but Iran has already rejected a demand that it shelve uranium enrichment before talks could begin.