In recent weeks, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been meeting with representatives from other nations to discuss Iran's refusal to live up to its international obligations concerning its nuclear program. She believes there is growing acceptance of the necessity to impose penalties on Iran to persuade Iran's leaders to change course.
Secretary of State Clinton said President Barack Obama's articulation of a clear strategy regarding Iran -- a 2 track approach which includes a willingness to engage with Tehran and to apply pressure to persuade Iran to engage -- has been fruitful:
"We have kept the so-called P5 + 1 – which is the U.K., France, Germany, China, Russia and us – united until now. We have issued very strong statements with both Russia and China signing on endorsing this dual track approach. We have demonstrated to countries that are somewhat ambivalent, to say the least, about going against Iran what it is we are trying to achieve and pointing out the problems Iran poses to them."
Secretary of State Clinton said that "tremendous progress" has been made over the past year with Russia, which recognizes the situation now requires increased pressure on Iran. China, she said, needs to be convinced that an arms race in the Gulf that would destabilize major oil producing countries is not in its interest.
"China has to ask itself," said Secretary Clinton, "if there is a trade-off between going along with the status quo, which could lead to greater instability ... or standing with the international community to try to change Iran's strategic calculus."
"Iran has left the international community little choice but to impose greater costs and pressure in the face of its provocative steps," said Secretary of State Clinton. And the U.S.'s clear commitment to engagement has exposed Iran's intransigence, leading countries that have been reluctant to apply pressure on Tehran to reconsider their position.