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Secretary Clinton On Iran

The Obama administration has made clear that it is seeking opportunities for engagement with the government of Iran, and is in the process of reviewing U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic. During a press briefing in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also said that the U.S. remains aware of the dangers Iran poses for the region and the international community:

"We share Israel's concerns about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its continued financing of terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. As we conduct our policy review and consider areas where we might be able to productively engage with Iran, we will stay in very close consultation with our friends here in Israel, with the neighbors of Iran in the region, and beyond with those countries that understand what a threat Iran poses today, and what a greater threat it would pose were it ever to be successful in its pursuit of nuclear weapons."

When the U.S. speaks of engagement with Iran, there should be no confusion about the goal, said Secretary Clinton:

"Our goal remains the same: to dissuade and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and continuing to fund terrorism. It happens to be a goal that is shared not only with Israel, but with many countries that view Iran through the same prism that we do."

Secretary of State Clinton said that there is no evidence so far that Iran has taken up President Barack Obama's offer of a hand extended in friendship, providing Iran unclenches its fist. But whatever course the U.S. takes regarding Iran, she said, will be done in consultation with U.S. friends and allies.