Tales from the Trail

Clinton doesn’t want Iran taking ‘one iota of credit’ for Mideast revolutions

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says when it comes to the pro-democracy movements sweeping through the Middle East give credit where credit is due. And that means not to Iran.

The United States has long been at loggerheads with Iran over its nuclear program — the West suspects Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, Iran says it is trying to provide energy for its people. USA/

Now the United States, which sees Iran as a major threat to the region,  is also suspicious that Tehran is trying to capitalize on the Middle East revolutions.

“We see Iran trying to take advantage of what is going on, which is the height of hypocrisy, but that has never stopped the regime before,” Clinton said. “And what they are doing is trying to somehow connect their failed revolution in 1979 with the movements for aspiration and change that are now moving through the region.”

The United States has a lot of friends in the region, she said at the State Department in a conversation with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger moderated by Charlie Rose which will be broadcast later Wednesday on PBS.

Clinton pushes for cooperation on confronting extremism

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an awards ceremony Sunday in Berlin to push European allies for greater cooperation in confronting extremism, nuclear proliferation and other challenges of the 21st century.

Her remarks came as thousands of people GERMANY/WALLcrowded into the city on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

“We should look to the examples of the generations who brought us successfully through the 20th century and once again together chart a clear and common course to safeguard our people and our planet, defeat violent extremists and prevent nuclear proliferation,” Clinton said.

Kissinger, Shultz back Obama push to eliminate nuclear arms

President Obama’s push to reduce the global nuclear arms threat received an endorsement Tuesday from some big names in U.S. national security policy.
 
With a new round of strategic arms talks getting under way in Moscow, Obama met in the Oval Office with former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Senator Sam Nunn.
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Obama, who outlined his vision of a world free of atomic weapons in a speech in Prague last month, said he welcomed the support of the bipartisan group, who have been pushing for over two years for the United States to lead an effort to eliminate nuclear arms.
 
“We do not want a world of continued nuclear proliferation,” Obama told reporters after the meeting.
 
“It is absolutely imperative that America take leadership working with not just our Russian counterparts but countries all around the world to reduce and ultimately eliminate the dangers that are posed by nuclear weapons,” he said.
 
“We can take some very specific steps in order to do that. We can revitalize our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We can work with the Russians as the two countries with by far the largest nuclear stockpiles to continue to reduce our dependence on nuclear weapons. We can move forward on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty …  And we can lock down loose nuclear weapons that can fall into the hands of terrorists.”
 
Shultz, speaking on behalf of the group, said the four former U.S. officials supported Obama’s approach.
 
He did have one little quibble though. The group, he said, was really non-partisan, not bipartisan.
 
“This is a subject that ought to somehow get up above trying to get a partisan advantage,” he said. “And it’s of such importance that we need to take it on its own merits. And that’s the way we’ve proceeded, and that’s the way, at least it seems to us, you’ve proceeded.”
 
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Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Obama with Shultz and Kissinger in the Oval Office)