Clinton: international sanctions made it difficult for Iran to pursue nuclear ambitions

Clinton: international sanctions made it difficult for Iran to pursue nuclear ambitions

PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S .Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that international sanctions have made it "much more difficult" for Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

Kicking off a three-country Gulf tour, the chief U.S. diplomat also accused Iran of opposing a negotiated Palestinian-Israeli settlement to distract attention from fears it is bent on becoming a nuclear-armed country.

"The most recent analysis is that the sanctions have been working," Clinton told university students in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi in a program for MBC television channel.

"They have made it much more difficult for Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions. Iran has technological problems that has made it slow down its timetable," she said. "So we do see some problems within Iran. But the real question is how do we convince Iran that pursuing nuclear weapons will not make it safer and stronger but just the opposite?"

Clinton has in the past said sanctions have begun to hurt Iran economically, forcing it to return to negotiations, but she has not previously said Iran's nuclear program has been affected. Iran says its aims are peaceful, denying charges by Israel and the West that its uranium enrichment work masks a drive for nuclear weapons.

Clinton, who is in the Gulf seeking to urge Iran's neighbors to step up enforcement of sanctions on Tehran, repeated that it was important to keep the limits in place and blamed Iran for encouraging the "drumbeats" of war around the region to divert attention from its nuclear work, Al Arabiya reported.

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