Thursday, September 14, 2006

Livni Flubs It

From Remarks With Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Tzipi Livni
After Meeting with Secretary Condoleezza Rice
, Sept. 13, 2006:-

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, the deadline to Iran passed two weeks ago and
nothing happened. I wonder how many more deadlines the U.S. intend to give Iran till an action is really taken? And I'll be happy also to have the Foreign Minister take on this issue?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, it's not quite right that nothing happened. On August 31st the deadline did pass. And in fact, we have now been in very close consultations with the other six and with others about what the -- what a Security Council resolution would contain. Now it is true that there has been an effort, because we've said the path is always open, to see if the Iranians still wanted to suspend. It's my understanding that -- perhaps, not surprisingly -- they've canceled the meeting for tomorrow. That should tell us something. And we have always believed that the path was very clear for the Iranians: suspend and go down the path of negotiation or the international community would go down the path of the Security Council. It's quite clear we're on the path of the Security Council. There will be a meeting in New York
of the ministers of the P-5+1. I think that's a natural time to assess where we are and to make some movement forward. But I -- I would just not likely the impression that we've been doing nothing. Meetings began almost immediately -- holiday notwithstanding -- began almost immediately on how to move forward on a Security Council resolution.

If the Iranians wish to suspend their activities, which is important because they're then not perfecting the technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon, the road of negotiation is still open, when and if they decide to suspend it.

QUESTION: So you're willing to give them more time?

SECRETARY RICE: No. I said we are working on a Security Council resolution now.
There's -- the Security Council resolution obviously has to be -- we have to consult about it and we have to decide what the text will look like. There will be a meeting -- there was a meeting of the political directors. There will be a meeting with the ministers. We are working on that track. If the Iranians still wish to suspend and begin negotiations obviously that would be a good thing. But given that they canceled the meeting, I'm -- I don't really know that that option is available.

SECRETARY RICE: All Right, thank you.


SECRETARY RICE: Oh, I'm sorry. Tzipi, go right ahead.


SECRETARY RICE: No, no, please.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER LIVNI: No, I mean, it's easier for me to say that there is no time and the international community should show determination and start with the sanctions. But as was said before, it is more easy for me to say from the outside, well, the United States chose the determination but there's a need to get -- I don't know if everybody -- but more states onboard and there are some hesitations unfortunately from other parts of the world. But our expectation is that the international community will show more determination on this issue and an understanding that this is not a threat to Israel, but a threat to the entire free world. And I think that there is an understanding, but now let's say what happens next week.

SECRETARY RICE: And that is our expectation, too. That is what we agreed starting all the way back at London to Berlin to Paris. And we now have to deliver as an international community.

Our Foreign Minister could have been a bit more, no, a lot more forthright. It's our survival we're talking about.

No comments: