Iran “perhaps single greatest” security risk to US: Rice; “We are, with our international partners, continuing to pursue a two-track approach on the nuclear issue,”
(AFP) Iran’s nuclear program and alleged backing of terrorism represent “perhaps the single greatest challenge” to US national security, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday.
“We are very concerned that the policies of Iran constitute perhaps the single greatest challenge to American security interests in the Middle East and around the world,” she said at a hearing in Congress.
After recent bellicose US remarks, including President George W. Bush’s warning that a nuclear-armed Iran evoked the threat of “World War III,” Rice said that Washington remained committed to talks to end Iran’s atomic drive.
“We are, with our international partners, continuing to pursue a two-track approach on the nuclear issue,” she told the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, giving testimony about US policy on the Middle East.
Rice noted that along with talks steered by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Washington and its EU partners were working on tougher UN sanctions against Iran given its refusal to renounce uranium enrichment.
Beyond the diplomacy, she said, Bush was determined to pursue “Iranian actors that are harming our troops (in Iraq) and innocent Iraqis.”
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