"If we pull the trigger on new nuclear-related sanctions now, we will go from isolating Iran to potentially isolating ourselves," Samantha Power said in her address as quoted by Reuters.
She called upon US Republicans to establish collaborative relationship with Obama's Democratic camp in order find common grounds on such crucial issues as Iran, Cuba and counter-terrorism.
"We in the administration believe that, at this time, increasing sanctions would dramatically undermine our efforts to reach this shared goal," she added.
Although Tehran and Washington still cannot reach an agreement on the Iranian controversial uranium enrichment program, the US Ambassador to the UN deems that the further negotiations may prove efficient.
"We assess that we still have a credible chance of reaching the agreement we want," Samantha Power stated during her speech, adding that if the Obama administration decided that Washington failed to achieve its goals, it would join Congress and support new anti-Iran sanctions. However, the White House has not "reached that point yet," according to Power.
"We will see how useful it will turn out. We are constantly gauging the benefits," Mr. Zarif told reporters in Tehran on Sunday, adding that both sides should increase their efforts to come to agreement.
Tehran has been a target of sanctions imposed by the United States, the UN Security Council, as well as the European Union, and several other countries over the allegations that Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian program. Iranian government has repeatedly denied such allegations, stating that Tehran’s nuclear activities are aimed purely at meeting the country’s growing energy needs.
The P5+1 group of six world powers comprising Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany joined diplomatic efforts back in 2006 in an attempt to reach a deal with the Tehran authorities assuring the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program. Since then, the group has held several meetings with Iran, but the sides failed to reach a compromise.
The latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group held in November in Vienna did not produce a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear program and the sides agreed to continue the discussions until July 2015.