Clinton Warns Iran During Israel Visit

Monday, 16 Jul 2012 04:11 PM

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Monday night and vowed cooperation on a broad range of issues, with Iran standing out, in particular, among them.

"We have our common goals to make sure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon," Netanyahu said prior to the meeting, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

Clinton said: "We will continue to consult closely as we have on an almost daily basis between our two governments to chart the best way forward for peace and stability for Israel, the United States and the world."

Editor’s Note: Watch URGENT Summit on a Nuclear Iran – Sign Up Here

Egypt, Syria and the peace process were also expected to be on the agenda.

Clinton also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday, but the Palestinian Authority said Clinton did not carry new ideas that could pave the way for the resumption of the peace talks with Israel.

Following the meeting, a PA official in Ramallah said that the talks focused on the PA’s demand for additional weapons to its security forces in the West Bank and the release of Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

The PA is demanding the release of Palestinians who were imprisoned before the signing of the Oslo Accords and permission to import weapons before its leaders agree to return to the negotiating table.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who met with Clinton in Paris last week, presented his demands to the US Administration and requested that Washington exert pressure on Israel to respond favorably.

The official did not say whether Clinton relayed to Fayyad a reply from the Israeli government to the PA demands.

However, the official pointed out that Clinton did not carry new ideas that could facilitate the resumption of the peace process.

“We don’t expect a breakthrough as the Americans are too busy with their presidential election,” the PA official told The Jerusalem Post.

Clinton also warned that the U.S. will  "use all elements of American power" to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the Associated Press reported.

Monday's veiled threat was delivered at the end of the day of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and after a U.S. Navy supply ship opened fire on a small vessel that failed to heed warnings to stop just off Jebel Ali, a frequent docking point for American naval vessels about 30 miles southwest of Dubai.

The Fifth Fleet, The New York Times reports,  has recently increased patrols in the Gulf as the U.S. and Israel face increased tensions with Iran. The U.S. and Iran have for weeks warned the other against provocative military exercises in the Gulf, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, a primary oil shipping entrance to the Gulf.

Clinton's comments come at a time when the U.S. and Israel debate how best to deal with Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. is seeking more time for negotiations and sanctions, while Israel has repeatedly hinted at military action.

Both suspect Iran may be aiming toward producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.

After her declaration about possible use of U.S. power, Clinton said everyone prefers a diplomatic resolution, and "Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's."

Editor’s Note: Watch URGENT Summit on a Nuclear Iran – Sign Up Here

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