Clinton cool to Iran's Ahmadinejad attending UN nuclear meeting
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely receive a visa to attend next week's Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York. But Hillary Clinton says he won't have a 'receptive audience.'
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Even as the US will likely grant Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a visa to visit New York City for the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, which opens Monday, members of the Obama administration said the gesture in itself means little and it has not relented on its calls for sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday she did not see Iran's purpose in attending the NPT conference, which runs through May 28, because their violations since signing the NPT are "absolutely indisputable." The purpose of the NPT review, which happens every five years, is to reaffirm signatories' commitments to the 1970 treaty's three purposes: disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful use of nuclear energy, Mrs. Clinton said at the news conference, according to Reuters.
Iran says it wants nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
Clinton said the international community would welcome an announcement from President Ahmadinejad – the highest-ranking official from any country expected to attend the conference – that Iran will begin abiding by NPT rules. But if he thinks "he can somehow divert attention from this very important global effort or cause confusion that might possibly throw into doubt what Iran has been up to... I don't believe he will have a particularly receptive audience," she told reporters, according to Agence France Presse.
Clinton, speaking again Thursday at the American Jewish Committee gala dinner in Washington, also used some of the administration's strongest language yet against Iran. She called the threat it posed to Israel "real" and "growing".
"Iran, with its anti-Semitic president and hostile nuclear ambitions, also continues to threaten Israel, but it also threatens the region and it sponsors terrorism against many. ... At every turn, Iran has met our outstretched hand with a clenched fist. But our engagement has helped build a growing global consensus on the need to pressure Iran’s leaders to change course. We are now working with our partners at the United Nations to craft tough new sanctions."