WORLD NEWS TOMORROW NEW YORK – Only the US can stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview on US TV show Charlie Rose on Wednesday, implying that Israel should not seek to do so.
Clinton reiterated that the US was committed to pursuing “every possible avenue we can to see if we can get them to correct their desire and goal of acquiring a nuclear weapon, but we cannot let them acquire that weapon. We are the only country in the world that can stop that.”
Comments in a similar, but starker vein, were made on the same show by one of her predecessors, James Baker.
Israel lacks the capability to stop Iran from getting a bomb, he said, and any attempt by it to do so will have disastrous results. Baker, George H. W. Bush’s secretary of state during the Gulf War, said an Israeli military strike can delay Iran’s acquisition of a bomb, but not prevent it. He warned that an Israeli strike would result in “many, many side effects, all of them adverse.”
Still, Baker didn’t rule out an American strike. “But at the end of the day, if we don’t get it done the way the Administration’s working on it now – which I totally agree with – then we ought to take them out,” he said.
Clinton posited that key members of Iran’s political elite want their country to be attacked in order to boost national unity.
“There are those who are saying the best thing that could happen to us is be attacked by somebody, just bring it on, because that would unify us, it would legitimize the regime,” Clinton said.
She warned that Iran’s acquisition of an atomic bomb would trigger an “arms race that would take place in the region with such unforeseen consequences,” and emphasized that a Middle East arms race would “create a cascade of difficult challenges for us and for Israel and for all of our friends and partners.”