Richardson discussed his views on Iran Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson, speaking Wednesday at the Center for National Policy, stressed the need to increase worldwide security.
"There are few issues that deserve more attention from Congress than keeping the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people," he said.
Richardson, governor of New Mexico, talked specifically about Iran and how to persuade the country's leaders to halt their nuclear enrichment program, saying "the key is to make them see that they will be better off and more secure without nukes than with them."
He said he hopes that the United States and other global leaders, including China and Russia, will work together to break ground with Iran. "We have many differences with the Iranians, but we and our allies also have common interests with them," he said.
Progress is possible through bipartisan, international diplomacy, Richardson said, but he noted leaders must forget "poisoned relations" from the past.
Despite a track record of diplomatic failures with Iran, Richardson said he remains hopeful that diplomacy is a powerful weapon. "There is reason for optimism that Iran might well choose to chart such a new course if presented with the right incentives," he said.
- CNN's Karen Hopkins