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Sec. Rice: "A Nuclear-armed Iran would be a very Devastating Blow to Peace and Security"

4:05 PM, Apr 20, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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Yesterday, in an interview with Chicago-area newspapers, Secretary of State Rice made a point that Richard Clarke didn't find time to address in his recent New York Times op-ed.

QUESTION: And because you also know that any armed intervention would inflame things throughout the Muslim world?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, Iran is not Iraq. It's a different period of time. It's a different set of circumstances. We also have to acknowledge though that a nuclear-armed Iran would also inflame the region in different ways. If you think about the kind of potential proliferation arms race that that will set off among Iran's neighbors, most of whom are frightened of Iran and Iran's aggressive behaviors, particularly in some cases against minority populations in various countries, we have to recognize that we also can't do nothing because a nuclear-armed Iran would be a very devastating blow to peace and security in the region.

But we have a lot of options ahead of us and we're going to pursue those fully and the diplomatic options are many.

Senator Hillary Clinton made a similar point -- "a nuclear-armed Iran would shake the foundations of global security to its very core" -- last September but hasn't said much on Iran lately.