U.S. calls Iran missile tests "provocative"
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday called Iran's latest missile test-firings "provocative" and urged it to agree to allow immediate, unfettered access to its newly disclosed nuclear fuel plant at talks with world powers.
Iran test-fired a new round of missiles on Monday, flexing its muscle before a rare meeting in Geneva on Thursday between Iran and six countries, including the United States, after last week's disclosure that Tehran is building a second uranium enrichment plant.
"Obviously these were pre-planned military exercises," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters when asked about the missile tests. "I would lump any of these into the provocative nature in which Iran has operated on the world stage for a number of years."
Gibbs reiterated demands by President Barack Obama at the Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh last Friday that Iran must come clean on its disputed nuclear program. Western powers accuse Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons, while Iran says it is only seeking peaceful electricity generation.
"They can agree to immediate unfettered access (of the nuclear fuel facility)," Gibbs said when asked what Washington wants from the much-anticipated talks. "That would be the least that they could do."
"There has never been a stronger international consensus to address Iran and its nuclear program than there is right now," he said.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; editing by Paul Simao)
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