Remarks With Belgian Foreign Minister Yves Leterme

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 25, 2009

Date: 09/25/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton meets with Belgium Foreign Minister Leterme at the Waldorf -Astoria. © State Dept ImageSECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as President Obama, President Sarkozy, and Minister Brown said in their statement today, Iran’s efforts over a number of years to build a covert enrichment facility near Qom deepens our already deep concern, and the growing international understanding about the scope and intent of Iran’s nuclear program.

This is further evidence of Iran’s continued defiance of IAEA and the United Nations obligations. Iran is breaking rules that all nations are expected to follow, and we fully support an immediate IAEA investigation. We remain committed to the October 1st meeting of the P-5+1, and we are encouraged by the work that was done this week here in New York, the very important statement that was agreed to by all members of the P-5+1, including China and Russia, and of course, the European Union as well, setting forth what we expected out of these negotiations.

The nuclear program was on the table before. It is on the table with increased urgency now. And this revelation that has been shared with the world makes clear, we hope, to those who have either not formed an opinion or doubted the necessity of the dual-track approach we are pursuing to work with us. This is now a clear challenge to the international community because this facility sharpens our sense of urgency, it underscores Iran’s absolute need to engage seriously with us on October 1st, and take immediate steps to demonstrate the exclusively peaceful nature of their nuclear program, which they have been claiming despite growing evidence to the contrary. So we are very clear and very resolved about what we are attempting to accomplish here.

QUESTION: If the Iranians don’t engage seriously on October the 1st, is that it, from your point of view? Are you willing to engage in further conversations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, we’re going to take it one day at a time. This is an unfolding narrative. As more and more information is shared with the world, as the comments made by Ahmadinejad during his recent appearance, and both before and since illustrate attitudes and approaches that are really at variance with almost universal principles and understanding of historical reality. So we are going to wait and see what Iran says when the meeting is held on October 1st.

STAFF: Thank you. Thank you, everybody.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not going to prejudge it, but clearly, this is an incredibly important disclosure that the world needs to digest.

STAFF: Thanks, everybody.

PRN: 2009/T12-20