October 11th, 2006 14:35 EST
Rice Says Iran Should Think Twice About Following North Korea
Washington – The swift international response to North Korea’s reported nuclear weapons test should serve as a lesson to the Iranian regime about what lies ahead if it insists on pursuing its nuclear ambitions in defiance of international demands, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Rice told CBS News October 10 “that when Iran watches the fundamental condemnation that the international community has delivered as a result of the North Korean program – and I think you will see a strong U.N. Security Council action – that Iran will need to stop and think twice about the path that it is actually headed down.”
“[W]hen one is under a [U.N.] Chapter 7 resolution, which is what we're now contemplating for Iran, a resolution that brands your country and its activities a threat to international peace and security, that's not a list that you want to be on,” she said. “That's not a list that you want to be on from the point of view of investment. That's not a list that you want to be on from the point of view of diplomatic engagement.”
Rice said the situations in Iraq and North Korea in no way limit the United States’ ability to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue. “The United States is quite capable of taking care of several problems simultaneously,” she told CNN in a separate interview.
President Bush, speaking at a press conference October 11, said U.S. efforts to forge an international consensus on the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs have placed those two countries in a much more difficult situation.
“[A]s a result of working together with our friends, Iran and North Korea are looking at … a different diplomatic scenario,” he said.
Rice told Fox News that negotiations are under way in New York to forge a Security Council resolution on Iran. “It will be, I think, a good resolution under Chapter 7, Article 41, which means that it will have measures probably relating to trying to stop its nuclear program,” she said.
Rice said it would take time to draft the resolution, but she added that the very threat of the impending Security Council action has a collateral effect on Iran’s ability to attract investment and financial partners.
The secretary reiterated that the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – along with Germany have offered Iran a package of incentives to abandon its nuclear ambitions. These incentives include assistance in developing a civil nuclear energy capability, the stated aim of Iran’s nuclear program. (See related article.)
“When they say that the United States and the allies are trying to deny them civil nuclear energy, that's simply not right,” she said. “This is about whether they can have enrichment and reprocessing capability which is the technology that allows you to make a bomb.”
“There is a very favorable package on the table for Iran put forward again by six countries, six interested and important countries, and an offer for the United States to join negotiations, to talk about the Iranian nuclear ambitions for a civil nuclear program and anything else that the Iranians want to talk about,” she said. “The condition set not by the United States, but by the [International Atomic Energy Agency] board of governors is that they have to suspend their enrichment first.”
Bush said that the United States is committed to resolving both the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues through diplomacy. “[T]he United States' message to North Korea and Iran and the people in both countries is that … we want to solve issues peacefully,” he said. (See related article.)
Transcripts of Secretary Rice’s interviews are available on the State Department Web site:
• Interview with Brit Hume of Fox News,
• Interview with Katie Couric of CBS’s 60 Minutes, and
• Interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN.
For more on U.S. policy, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
By By David Shelby
Washington File Staff Writer