Clinton won’t rule out military force against Iran

January 14th, 2009 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Jan 13 (DPA) US secretary of state-designate Hillary Clinton Tuesday said she would not rule out the possible use of military force by the Obama administration to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.”We are not taking any options off the table at all,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her confirmation hearings to become the top US diplomat.

But Clinton said the US will work closely on the diplomatic front and through the UN and use of sanctions to persuade Iran to come clean about its nuclear activities and ensure it is not trying to gain the know-how to build a bomb.

“Our goal will be doing everything we can … through the use of diplomacy, through the use of sanctions, to create better coalitions … to trying to prevent this occurring,” she said.

Clinton repeated president-elect Barack Obama’s position that a nuclear armed Iran would be “unacceptable” and would pose a threat to the Middle East and US ally Israel.

The Bush administration had also refused to rule out military force in dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but at the same time focused on diplomatic pressure by working with Britain, France and Germany and on the Security Council.

Traditionally, US presidents always maintain that force is an option to address international crises.

During the campaign, Obama pledged to step up direct diplomatic contacts with Iran to persuade the Islamic state to abandon its suspected efforts of acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Clinton said the administration will wait until taking office to evaluate the situation and whether to proceed with direct talks. The Bush administration refused to hold direct discussions with Iran, allowing EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana to lead negotiations.

“I want to wait to determine the exact contours of how we proceed until we are actually in office and have a chance to consult with others,” Clinton said.

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