Clinton: WikiLeaks documents confirm Iran concerns

Clinton says US "deeply regrets" embarrassment caused by classified documents, US taking aggressive steps to pursue those responsible.

November 30, 2010 05:07
2 minute read.
US SECRETARY of State Hillary Clinton

hilary2_311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON – US officials said Monday that leaked US State Department cables made clear the unified international concern about Iran and conviction among allies that it must be stopped from developing nuclear weapons.

The comments came amidst strong US condemnations of the documents’ release on WikiLeaks and refusals to confirm their contents, with American diplomats scrambling to reassure allies and contain the international fallout.

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that anyone reviewing the “alleged” contents of the cables would find confirmation that “the concern about Iran is well-founded, widely shared and will continue to be at the source of the foreign policy that we pursue with like-minded nations to try to present Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

She said that these widespread fears of Iran are what led to “the strongest possible sanctions against Iran” being imposed.

“Once the countries evaluated the evidence concerning Iran’s actions and intentions, they reached the same conclusions that the US reached: that we much do whatever we can to muster the international community to take action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state,” she said in response to a question from the press.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs similarly said that “it is obvious that countries throughout the world... all understand the threat that a nuclear Iran poses.”

He also stressed that the release of the cables was a “serious concern” but would in no way “impact our ability to pursue a foreign policy that is in our interests and in the interests of the world.”

Both Gibbs and Clinton strongly condemned the distribution of secret diplomatic information, and US Attorney- General Eric Holder announced that WikiLeaks faced a criminal investigation.

Clinton noted that she had been dealing with the fallout from the release of the documents for several days already, calling world leaders to express America’s commitment to strong relations with her counterparts despite the revelations.

She said she would express that same message in person to many of the international dignitaries she will meet on her upcoming trip to several Central Asian countries and a security conference in Bahrain, for which she was due to depart later Monday.

Clinton had had one such meeting earlier Monday, when she welcomed Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to the State Department.

The released cables pointed to deep American unease about Turkey’s current government and its Islamist direction, particularly Davutoglu’s own interest in restoring neo-Ottoman hegemony.

But during public statements Monday, Clinton referred to Davutoglu as both “a colleague and a friend,” adding that “Turkey and the United States have one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. We are very committed to continuing to strengthen and deepen that relationship.”

Davutoglu did mention that the two countries would be addressing a “huge variety of agenda items” that included the leaked documents, and thanked Clinton for receiving a briefing in advance of their publication.

He described Turkey as have a “time-tested transparent foreign policy, including our relations with the US,” and said that Turkey would still “follow the same principled foreign policy to achieve regional and global peace in coordination with the American administration.”

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