April 11th, 2010
11:38 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton, Gates defend U.S. policy on Iran's nuclear ambitions

(CNN) - Does Iran have the know-how to build a nuclear weapon? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wouldn't say on Sunday, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared the answer was "no."

Appearing with Gates in a pre-recorded interview on the NBC program "Meet the Press," Clinton defended the Obama Administration policy of seeking a unified international response to Iran's nuclear ambitions, including stronger United Nations sanctions.

Republicans criticize the policy as too weak, citing Iran's continuing snub of international regulations governing nuclear energy and nuclear weapons programs.

Clinton said President Barack Obama's decision to break with his predecessor's policies and seek negotiations with Iran has exposed the Tehran government's intransigence.

Now, with the U.N. Security Council permanent members negotiating tougher sanctions, "the Iranians have been beating down the doors of every country in the world to try to avoid" a new sanctions resolution, Clinton said.

However, when asked if Iran had the capability now to develop a nuclear weapon, Clinton avoided a direct answer, saying it was unclear.

Gates had no hesitation, declaring immediately that "it's our judgment here they are not nuclear capable."

"We're doing everything we can to try and keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons," Gates said, adding that there "probably" would be another Security Council resolution with tougher sanctions on Iran.

He called such a resolution important on its own and as a legal platform for others such as the European Union to take steps.

"At the end of the day, Iran has to decide that not having nuclear weapons is a better defense strategy than having them," Gates said.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iran • Obama administration • Robert Gates
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. obamarroids

    Mr. Obama is a Jihadist. Clearly. Between his attack on our economy, our allies, and our children, he has proven himself to an enemy of the United States of America.

    April 11, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. bennie new york

    Iran poses a very serious threat. Diplomaic relations without preconditions is a good idea, but when Iran holds rigged elections and squashes dissent, it makes it hard for the US to have any kind of relations with them. At some point, we are going to have to face Iran militarily. If they say they have the bomb or if they successfully test a nuclear weapon, we have to order them to cease and desist or face the consequences, those consequences being military action. We also have to guarantee that we will protect Israel if they are attacked by Iran or if there is intelligence pointing to an attack by Iran, and we need to have the intellegence to make sure we know before it happens. In any instance where we must face Iran militarily, we need to seek bilateral military support from our allies.
    That is my idea as to how we should deal with Iran.

    April 11, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    What may be clear to a right wingnut, is a long way from reality.

    April 11, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Clearly, republicans are Jihadists. They have tried to destroy democracy, and even elected republicans refuse to allow up or down votes in the senate.

    As for the attack on the economy, the little shrub gave an unfunded $1.2 trillion in tax relief to the wealthiest Americans, gave us a $1trillion unfunded drug program, created a $3 trillion unfunded war in Iraq, and gave the banks a $800 billion bailout. Quite a record of conservatism.

    April 11, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Republicans are enemies of democracy.

    April 11, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Thank God this administration ignores the ignorance of the GOP and continues to go about doing their job. The more Republicans are ignored the nastier and angrier they get, that's all they have to offer.

    April 11, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |

    Who in the devil are they to be giving out advice on military needs. This is a sad day for America. The only thing that will come from this is many, many, many more soldiers will have to pay with their lives. FROM A 30 YEAR ARMY VETERAN.

    April 11, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |