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Condoleezza Rice: 'It's Now Up to Iran'

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sat down on Thursday with NPR's Michele Kelemen for an interview after meetings in Vienna. Rice was in Austria to talk about Iran's nuclear program with foreign ministers from the other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany.

The U.N. powers agreed upon a course of action for dealing with Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Without revealing specifics, the group said it would offer Iran incentives to end research that could lead to the production of nuclear weapons.

"We have established a robust path for Iran if it chooses to cooperate, and a robust path for the international community if it chooses not to," Rice said of the agreement. "It's now up to Iran."

When asked whether the United States was coming into potential negotiations in a weakened position, Rice was emphatic that America holds a strong hand.

"I think coming to the table with the entire international community united around a particular course is a pretty strong position to be in," Rice said. "Iran has to answer to the international community. I think that's the strongest possible position that you could be in."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Friday that the West won't stop Iran from pursuing nuclear technology.

"The efforts of some Western countries to deprive us will not bear any fruit," he said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

When making his remarks, Ahmadinejad did not directly mention the package agreed to by Rice and her colleagues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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