In a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the foreign policy approach of the Obama administration, which involves rallying partners and allies around the world "to solve common problems and achieve shared aspirations," has produced important results.
She cited U.S. efforts to rally the international community to stop Iran's provocative nuclear activities and its "serial noncompliance with its international obligations:"
"First, we began by making the United States a full partner and active participant in international diplomatic efforts regarding Iran... Through our continued willingness to engage Iran directly, we have re-energized the conversation with our allies and are removing all of those excuses for lack of progress."
Secondly, said Secretary Clinton, the U.S. has sought to frame the Iranian nuclear issue within the global non-proliferation regime:
"To lead by example, we have renewed our own disarmament efforts. Our deepened support for global institutions such as the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] underscores the authority of the international system. And Iran, on the other hand, continues to single itself out through its own actions... Its intransigence represents a challenge to the rules that all countries must adhere to."
Thirdly, she said, the U.S. has strengthened its relationships with other countries whose help is necessary for diplomacy to succeed:
"We've built a broad consensus that will welcome Iran back into the community of nations if it meets its obligations and will likewise hold Iran accountable if it continues its defiance."
This spring, the U.N. Security Council passed the strongest and most comprehensive set of sanctions ever against Iran. The European Union followed with robust implementation of that resolution, and many other nations, including Australia, Canada, Norway and Japan, have adopted additional measures. Secretary of State Clinton said that Iran is starting to feel the impact of these sanctions, and the international financial and commercial sectors are also starting to recognize the risks of doing business with Iran:
"Sanctions and pressures, however, are not ends in themselves. They are the building blocks of leverage for a negotiated solution to which we and our partners remain committed."
The choice for Iran's leaders is now clear, said Secretary of State Clinton. "They have to decide whether they accept their obligations, or increasing isolation and the costs that come with it. And we will see how Iran decides."