Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today, and said that while “President Obama has signaled his intention to support tough and direct diplomacy with Iran,” the US intends to punish the Iranian government if it continues to decline cooperation with the assorted demands made by the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA.
“If Tehran does not comply with United Nations Security Council and IAEA mandates, there must be consequences,” Clinton insisted. Iran has been cooperating with the IAEA to the extent that the Non-Proliferation Treaty requires, but has balked at the Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement. The United Nations Security Council complaints with respect to Iran have largely stemmed from this as well, though Iran has indicated they would consider resuming voluntary cooperation with the Additional Protocol if the situations is referred back to the IAEA instead of the Security Council.
The United States has struggled in recent days to get international cooperation for additional sanctions against Iran, but President Obama’s popularity in Europe may make it easier to push through such initiatives.