Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the US was ready to guarantee the safety of its Gulf allies against Iran and would increase pressure on North Korea, as she set out Washington’s strategy to tackle nuclear proliferation from Tehran and Pyongyang.
Speaking on a visit to Thailand, the US secretary of state sought to counter recent setbacks to the Obama administration’s plans for negotiations with Iran by insisting that the US could “extend a defence umbrella over the [Gulf] region” if Tehran developed a nuclear weapon.
In the face of recent missile and nuclear tests by North Korea and worries about its military and possibly nuclear links with Burma, she also argued that Pyongyang would be subjected to “unrelenting” sanctions unless it irreversibly ended its nuclear weapons programme...
But her remarks were immediately attacked by Israel. Dan Meridor, intelligence service minister, said Mrs Clinton’s remarks made it seem as if the US were “already resigned” to a nuclear-armed Iran. “This is a mistake,” he said, according to Reuters. “We cannot act now by assuming that Iran will be able to arm itself with a nuclear weapon, but to prevent such a possibility.”