VOA, Phuket, ThailandSecretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States may offer a "defense umbrella" for U.S. allies in , Persian Gulf, to deter Iran if it acquires nuclear weapons. Clinton, in Thailand for a regional dialogue with ASEAN foreign ministers, also says the United States is concerned about possible North Korean nuclear aid for Burma.
But she says, if the negotiating track fails and
Iran acquires a nuclear weapons capacity, the United States will respond with
"crippling" actions and is prepared to offer regional allies a "defense
umbrella" to prevent Iranian intimidation.
Appearing on Thai television, the secretary's comments were some of the most pointed by any American official, thus far, about what Washington would do if Iran does acquire nuclear arms.
She says there is still a lot of opportunity for Iran to be dissuaded from its apparent course, through negotiations with the permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany (P5 +1), who have offered Iran incentives to curb its nuclear activities.
If such efforts fail, Clinton says the United States will take action that would limit a nuclear Iran's ability to bully its neighbors.
"We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment that, if the United States extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in
The Development and Proliferation of
Today eight countries
are possessing nuclear weapons. The five nuclear weapons states
United States, Russia (former Soviet Union), United Kingdom, France
and China, are the only countries allowed to have nuclear weapons
according to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) from 1970. All
members of the United Nations except Israel, India and Pakistan have
signed the NPT.
Clinton says the negotiating track remains open
but says the P5 +1 powers are "not going to keep the window open forever."
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