Wall Street Journal: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, addressing a regional security conference here, said she hoped Iranian negotiators would come to planned nuclear talks next week with the West committed to “constructive engagement.”
The Wall Street Journal
MANAMA, Bahrain—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, addressing a regional security conference here, said she hoped Iranian negotiators would come to planned nuclear talks next week with the West committed to “constructive engagement.”
Mrs. Clinton said Washington was still committed to negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, but that outreach to Tehran by President Barack Obama came in tandem with an “iron clad commitment to defending global security.”
The conference was attended by a delegation of Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, making it an opportunity to publicly deliver Washington’s message to Iranian officials face-to-face.
Iran has agreed to international talks on Sunday and Monday in Geneva regarding its nuclear program. “We firmly hope that out of this meeting, we will see a constructive engagement from you in respect to your nuclear program,” Mrs. Clinton said, directing her remarks to the Iranian delegation.
Mr. Mottaki didn’t immediately respond to the address, which was given during a late-night dinner for delegates attending the Mideast security symposium. He later declined to comment. He is scheduled to speak at a news conference Saturday.
The U.S. and its allies want Iran to cease enriching uranium, a process that Western and Arab officials worry could be a stepping stone to producing a nuclear weapon. Iran has said its nuclear program is peaceful.
Mrs. Clinton said the international community had little choice but to assume the worst possible scenario in Iran’s ambitions, and pointedly warned Iran against trying to develop a nuclear weapon. “If anyone in Iran believes that acquiring [nuclear] weapons or breakout capacity of weapons will make them more secure they are wrong. It will trigger an arms race that will make the region less stable.”
Washington has acknowledged Tehran’s right to nuclear energy. “Iran is entitled to use of civilian, peaceful (nuclear) technology,” Mrs. Clinton said. “But the facts are stubbornly clear” that Iran isn’t living up to its international commitments over monitoring of its program, she said.
“I’m hoping and waiting to see results from Geneva,” she added.
Mrs. Clinton also addressed security concerns raised by the recent leaks of Defense and State Department documents by WikiLeaks, citing a Bush administration decision to add State Department cables to a Defense Department computer network.
While it isn’t clear who leaked the State Department documents to WikiLeaks, an Army private, Bradley Manning, is in custody on charges of leaking other classified documents to WikiLeaks.
“We are taking steps as I speak to make our networks more secure,” said Mrs. Clinton.