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Threats Posed By Iran And Syria

A number of actors operating in the Mideast are a threat to the region's chances for security and peace.

In a recent speech in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there are a number of actors operating in the Mideast who are a threat to the region's chances for security and peace: "Hamas and Hezbollah continue to trumpet the false and intolerable claim that a Palestinian state can somehow be achieved someday through violence. They have stockpiled tens of thousands of increasingly sophisticated rockets in Gaza and southern Lebanon – rockets they aim at Israeli homes and civilians."

Another source of instability, said Secretary of State Clinton, is Syria's transfer of weapons to Hezbollah: "We condemn this in the strongest possible terms and have expressed our concerns directly to the Syrian Government. Transferring weapons to these terrorists. . . .would have a profoundly destabilizing effect on the region. And it would absolutely violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which bans the unauthorized importation of any weapons into Lebanon."

Iran, said Secretary Clinton, is also a threat to the entire region, as "it sponsors terrorism against many:"

"The United States has worked with the international community to present the leaders in Tehran with a clear choice: Uphold your international obligations and reap the benefits of normal relations, or face increased isolation and painful consequences. At every turn, Iran has met our outstretched hand with a clenched fist. But our engagement has helped build a growing global consensus on the need to pressure Iran's leaders to change course

Resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflict with a two state solution is essential to Mideast peace and security, said Secretary of State Clinton. And that, she said, can only be achieved "through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians." That is why the U.S., Secretary Clinton said, is working "round the clock" to move forward with proximity talks that can set the stage for a resumption of direct negotiations on all permanent status issues: "We believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can agree to an outcome which ends the conflict."

And the international community can help: "Support the peacemakers and condemn the rejectionists. . . Close your doors to those who traffic in violence and hate," said Secretary Clinton. The people of the region "deserve an end to the culture of fear and hostility that has dominated their lives for decades."