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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Secretary of State Rice Addresses Progress in on the Iranian Problem

Remarks With U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband After Their Meeting
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
State Department transcript
May 21, 2008

SECRETARY RICE: I'm simply not going to comment. I will note that the Iranian problem is not just America's problem. It is an international issue. And it is an issue on which the international community is united in confronting Iran with the choices before it, either to suspend its enrichment and reprocessing efforts, which would - could lead to the knowledge and the technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon, or face continued isolation. That policy has resulted in three Security Council resolutions. The United Kingdom, Germany, the - Germany, France, Russia and China have been united in putting forward three Security Council resolutions and they have passed.

Those Security Council resolutions have been augmented by significant designations on a unilateral basis by the United States of Iranian entities which are engaged in proliferation or in terrorism. And the reputational and investment risk of dealing with Iran have caused people not just to think twice about investing in Iran, but to actually begin to take hard choices not to invest in Iran.

You have seen a drying up of investment in Iran's infrastructure. You have seen a drying up of investment in Iran's oil capability. You're seeing a drying up of export credits to Iran and the many problems that David has mentioned within the Iranian economy and the resultant debate about whether Iran is, in fact, on the right course. Now I think this has culled a successful multilateral coalition of states that have the same view, which is that Iran should be offered incentives if it is prepared to live up to the obligations that the international community has put before it, but will face isolation and consequences if it is not prepared to do that.

I would like to see what other options there are for the international community given that this policy is one that I think is the best course for us; give Iran a choice. If Iran cannot make the right choice, then it will face consequences. Thank you.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Miliband noted:
"anyone who looks at the state of the Iranian economy or the debates that are going on within Iran about the state of their economy can realize that there are substantial costs that the Iranian regime are bringing on their own people as a result of the policy they're currently pursuing. "
The U.S. and allied policy of multilateral engagement is EXACTLY what Democrats claim they have been clamoring for right? Unilateral moves by the United States were sharply criticized by Democrats up until "no preconditions" Obama said he would meet unconditionally with the Iranians, Cubans, Syrian, North Koreans and Venezuelans.

While progress on the Iran issue is not moving as fast as anyone would like, the multilateral approach which proved so effective in dealing with North Korea is the way to go. And it's undeniable that progress would be swifter if Democrats weren't doing everything they can to undermine it with their reckless rhetoric which simply encourages the Iranians to hold on and hope for Obama to save them.

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