US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that Iran’s threats regarding the Strait of Hormuz place it on a dangerous path while affirming that her country does not seek conflict with Tehran.
“We discussed at some length our nations’ shared concerns regarding Iran and the steps it has taken toward furthering its nuclear weapons ambitions. We are both firmly committed to the dual-track approach: pressure to bring about meaningful engagement by Iran on its program”, said Clinton in a briefing after her meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
“We are making it clear to Iran that its pursuit of nuclear weapons and its needless provocations such as the threats regarding the Strait of Hormuz, place it on a dangerous path”, she added.
Clinton noted that Iran “does have a choice to make. It can come back to the table, as we have consistently made clear to them, and address the nuclear program concerns that the international community rightly has, or face increasing pressure and isolation. I want to underscore: We do not seek conflict”.
“We strongly believe the people of Iran deserve a better future. They can have that future. The country can be reintegrated into the global community, able to share in the benefits, when their government definitively turns away from pursuing nuclear weapons”, she added.
European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton did send the Iranians a letter saying that the P5+1 is open to serious negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program.
“It has been very important that the EU has kept this open channel. And we all are seeking clarity about the meaning behind Iran’s public statements that they are willing to engage, but we have to see a seriousness and sincerity of purpose coming from them”, she added.
Clinton affirmed that the US administration is “very committed to the path forward for a stable, peaceful Afghanistan. We are deeply regretting the bad news about the four French soldiers killed earlier today in the second attack on French soldiers this month. That follows the deaths yesterday of six US Marines in a helicopter crash”.
“Let me express on behalf of all Americans our deepest condolences to the families of both those French and American soldiers. We know what a personal loss that is and how important it is we work toward our goal of security and long-term stability”, she added.
In return, Westerwelle noted that the United States is “our most important partner and ally beyond Europe. Close cooperation across the Atlantic is essential in times of global changes and enormous political challenges”.
“We discussed the deeply worrying situation in Syria. The regime of President Assad must be stopped, urgently. We support the efforts by the Arab League to solve the crisis, and we agree that the United Nations Security Council must take a clear position to condemn the violence by the Syrian regime”, he concluded.