The White House says Iran has deepened its international isolation by threatening to bring "harm and pain" to the United States in the continuing dispute about Tehran's nuclear program.
A White House spokesman, Scott McClellan was responding to the threat issued by Iran in Vienna earlier on Wednesday at an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting.
The I.A.E.A. decided today to refer a widely anticipated report about Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council. The U.S. ambassador to the I.A.E.A. Gregory Schulte said the report makes clear Iran has failed to meet demands to stop all uranium enrichment work.
In Washington, a State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack said the Bush administration will not seek sanctions against Iran in the first stage of the Security Council's discussions on Tehran.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the Security Council will start debating Iran's nuclear program early next week (Monday or Tuesday). Speaking before a U.S. congressional committee, Burns also said there is universal agreement Iran is trying to seek nuclear weapons.
I.A.E.A. chief Mohamed ElBaradei said a political solution to the standoff is still possible. He said resolving the stalemate will take time, and he called for people on both sides of the issue to lower the rhetoric.
Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at developing electricity.