Clinton: China risks isolation over Iran

Says that if Israel feels it's existence is threatened, "it will produce an arms race" which would be "incredibly dangerous."

Hillary Clinton 311 187 (photo credit: AP)
Hillary Clinton 311 187
(photo credit: AP)

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned on Friday it risks diplomatic isolationand disruption to its energy supplies unless it helps keep fromdeveloping nuclear weapons.

Speaking in , said she and others who support additional sanctions on for refusing to prove it has peacefulnuclear intentions are lobbying to back new UN penalties on the Iranian government.

She said she understood 'sreluctance to impose new penalties on , its third-largest supplier ofoil. But she stressed that a nuclear-armed would destabilize the Persian Gulf and imperil oil shipments gets fromother Arab states in the region.

There is a new push for sanctions at the UN because of 's continued refusal to engage on the matterwith the five permanent members of the Security Council — , ,, and the — and .

Administration officials have invited new talks with , but with no sign that wants todo business, the focus has turned to penalties.

"As we move away from the engagement track, which has not produced theresult that some had hoped for, and move forward on the pressure and sanctionstrack, China will be under a lot of pressure to recognize the destabilizingimpact that a nuclear-armed Iran would have in the Gulf, from which theyreceive a significant percentage of their oil supplies," Clinton said.

The is themost visible leader in the new push for UN Security Council sanctions, and spent much of her time in this week lobbying major powers whose support she needs to pass and enforce neweconomic penalties. Some of the additional measures that will be proposedtarget elements of 'spowerful militia structure, US officials said.

The Obama administration has said appears bent on developing nuclear weapons, although claims its nuclear work ispeaceful. is thought to have stockpiled more than enough nuclear material to manufacturea single bomb, and more is being made daily.

The risks of an Iranian bomb are manifold, said.

"It will produce an arms race," in the Persian Gulf, and will feel its very existence threatened, said in responseto a question from an audience member during a speech at a French militaryacademy. "All of that is incredibly dangerous."

The hascautioned publiclyagainst a pre-emptive strike on 'sknown nuclear facilities, arguing that such an attack would invite an arms raceand retaliation.

has traditionallyresisted UN Security Council sanctions, saying they are counterproductive andharm efforts to persuade to prove its claim that the nuclear program is peaceful.

met Thursday in with Chinese Foreign Minister YangJiechi to make the case to move ahead with sanctions at the United Nations. USofficials said Yang's response was noncommittal.

In , said her message to the Chinese hadbeen this: "We understand that right now it seems counterproductive to youto sanction a country from which you get so much of the natural resources yourgrowing economy needs. But think about the longer-term implications."