Clinton: Israel must be patient on Iran

Secretary of state says Washington hopes Israel understands that dialogue is the best approach.

July 27, 2009 14:18
3 minute read.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton thumb. (photo credit: AP)


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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday implicitly urged Israel to give US policy on Iran's nuclear ambitions a chance to work.

Speaking to NBC television's "Meet the Press," Clinton said Washington hoped Israel understood that American attempts to talk to Iran was a better approach than launching a military strike.

The secretary of state said that Iran would not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, but added that the Obama administration might still engage with the Islamic republic even though the people there "deserve better than what they're getting."

"Your (Iran's) pursuit is futile," she said, while denying that the US would be betraying Iran's democratic movement by negotiating with the government over its nuclear program.

"We have negotiated with many governments who we did not believe represented the will of their people. Look at all the negotiations that went on with the Soviet Union," she said. "That's what you do in diplomacy. You don't get to choose the people. That's up to the internal dynamic within a society. But, clearly, we would hope better for the Iranian people. We would hope that there is more openness, that peaceful demonstrations are respected, that press freedom is respected."

When asked whether Iran was an illegitimate regime, Clinton said, "You know, that's really for the people of Iran to decide."

"I have been moved by the … cries for freedom. … People that go back millennia, that have such a great culture and history, deserve better than what they're getting," added the secretary of state.

Concerning North Korea, she said, "They've engaged in a lot of provocative action in the last months. … It's not going to work this time."

"It's not only that North Korea has, against the international norms … proceeded with this effort, but they also are a proliferator," she added. "We know that for a fact. So it's not only the threat they pose to their neighbors, and eventually beyond, but the fact that they're trying to arm others."

She said she did not believe the efforts to stop North Korea's nuclear program had failed because it was "still at the beginning stages."

"They are very isolated now," she continued. "They don't have any friends left.
We've seen even Burma saying that they're going to enforce the resolution of sanctions."

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