Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, warned Iran on Monday that it would use “all elements of its power” to prevent Tehran developing a nuclear weapon as US aircraft carriers were deployed in the Gulf amid escalating tensions.
Mrs Clinton, who was speaking in Jerusalem at the end of a one-day visit, sought to reassure Israel about US support stressing that both countries would work "in close consultation" to halt Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme.
"We will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon," Mrs Clinton told reporters in a late-night press conference.
"I think it is fair to say we are on the same page at this moment, trying to figure our way forward to have the maximum impact on affecting the decisions that Iran makes."
Mrs Clinton indicated that proposals made by Iran so far had fallen short of resolving the stand-off, calling them "non-starters".
"Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's” she said.
Washington has made several veiled threats about military force against the Middle Eastern state but the timing of Mrs Clinton's remarks yesterday coincided with rising tensions in the area.
A few hours before her statement, America deployed an aircraft carrier to the Gulf, a sign widely seen as the US looking to strengthen forces in the oil-rich region. The US ship, which was sent four months ahead of schedule, was said to have been sent to address "security issues", according to officials at the Pentagon.
In a further mark of growing pressure, US sailors shot and killed the occupant of a motor boat near the Strait of Hormuz the same day after it failed to halt its approach to an American supply vessel, despite warnings by the crew.
“An embarked security team aboard a US Navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the US ship,” Greg Raelson, a media officer for the US Navy, said in an email.
Mrs Clinton's visit to Israel, her first in two years, marked the end of a nine-nation tour, holding talks with top officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
During talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, who has recently shown frustration at international efforts to negotiate with Iran, Mrs Clinton had been expected to explain a wave of fresh sanctions imposed by Washington.
Renewed sanctions were placed on Tehran last week by the United States, following reports that Iran had been circumventing international sanctions by swapping oil for goods with Turkey and China.
The latest measures ensure Iranian oil tankers are prevented from docking in many international ports, with analysts estimating it to lead to as much as a 60 per cent drop in Iranian crude oil sales.----
In: World News, Politics, Iran, Other Middle East
Tags: US, power, iran, nuclear, military, tensions, gulf, strait, hormuz, persia
Location: Israel (load item map)
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