Clinton: US to engage Iran, protect friends
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reaffirmed the Obama administration’s position on engaging Iran over its nuclear ambitions, calling the recent crackdown of the disputed elections “deplorable and unacceptable.”
Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington Wednesday, Clinton said, “Neither the president nor I have any illusions that direct dialogue with the Islamic Republic will guarantee success.”
“But we also understand the importance of trying to engage Iran and offering its leaders a clear choice: whether to join the international community as a responsible member or to continue down a path to further isolation,” she added.
She continued in reiterating that time was running out for Iran. “We remain ready to engage with Iran, but the time for action is now,” she said. “The opportunity will not remain open indefinitely.”
Clinton also vowed the US will “not hesitate to defend our friends, our interests, and above all, our people vigorously and when necessary with the world's strongest military.”
“Our willingness to talk is not a sign of weakness to be exploited,” she said. “This is not an option we seek nor is it a threat; it is a promise to all Americans.”