During a trip to Israel this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to work with stakeholders in the region to do everything possible to prevent the growth of Iran's nascent nuclear program.
Speaking at a press availability on Monday, Clinton made clear "the choice is ultimately Iran's. Our own choice is clear: We will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
"Iran is under greater pressure now than ever before. That pressure will continue and increase so long as Iran fails to meet its international obligations. We all prefer a diplomatic resolution and Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision," she added.
The United States has been incrementally increasing pressure on the Iranian regime in recent months and just last week imposed the latest set of sanctions targeting Iranian and international companies acting as fronts for the Iranian military establishment.
The additional sanctions come as still more indicators point to a possible attack on Iran by Israel. When asked whether an attack of this kind is plausible, Clinton said she would not prejudge steps forward by the two allies, adding "I think that it's absolutely fair to say we are on the same page at this moment trying to figure our way forward to have the maximum impact on affecting the decisions that Iran makes."
However, the Obama administration has repeatedly urged Israel to quiet its rhetoric on a possible attack on Iran, believing that even though Iranian proposals to the international community are "non-starters," any threats could further derail the talks.
"With respect to Iran, [the Israel trip] is a conversation that is about the diplomacy through the P-5+1 [five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany] and about the pressure track, both unilateral and multilateral, that is being placed on Iran. It's not about anything beyond that," a senior State Department official told reporters before the secretary's arrival.
During the trip, Clinton also discussed the ongoing Middle East Peace Process with top Israeli officials including President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will visit Israel in late July, while White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon made a stop earlier this month.
The Israel stop ended an extensive 12-day trip in which Clinton met with leaders in eight countries, including France, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Egypt.
Secretary Clinton is the most widely traveled Secretary of State in U.S. history, having traveled a total of 816,403 miles and visited 100 countries over 339 days.
by RTT Staff Writer
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