Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Clinton warns Iran while on visit to Israel

During her recent visit to Israel, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US will "use all elements of American power" to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon. She noted that so far the proposals made by the Islamic Republic to resolve the situation were "non-starters".

Speaking about a number of issues, Clinton said the US was working hard on a new resolution "with consequences" regarding Syria. She also added that she had discussed Egypt with Israel's leaders and said the nations' peace treaty should be honoured.

Addressing a press conference, following a meeting with Israel's President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Clinton said a diplomatic resolution to Iran's nuclear issue would be preferable.

She explained: “The amount of work [for Egypt's leaders] would be daunting for the most experienced political leaders…Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's." Clinton, however, added: "We will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon."

The latest talks between Iran and six other world powers ended without a resolution. The so-called "P5+1" group - consisting of the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany - want Tehran to suspend the enrichment of uranium to a level of 20%, close down an underground enrichment facility and export its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium.

Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is designed for peaceful purposes only and insists that the West lifts its sanctions, which restrict the country's economic activity.

Speaking about the situation in Syria, Clinton said the US was working hard on a new UN resolution. She also once again called for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to go, saying "the regime cannot survive".

Clinton made a trip to Egypt ahead of her visit to Israel. Speaking about the situation between the two countries, she said both regional nations shared a strong interest and commitment to their peace agreement.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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