Clinton calls for ‘good faith’ talks on Iran nuclear program

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday directly addressed senior Iranian officials, including the foreign minister, to reaffirm President Obama’s offer of engagement and to pledge “good faith” negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program in Geneva next week.

Clinton made her statement before a glittering gathering of hundreds of Arab kings, diplomats and defense officials as part of a speech here on Persian Gulf security that, often without mentioning Iran directly, touched on the concerns voiced by many in the region over Tehran’s growing clout. It appeared designed to set the stage for talks next week – the first in 14 months – by putting Iran on the spot with a show of reasonableness and outreach.

In the speech to the Manama Dialogue, an annual conference organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Clinton lauded Iran as the “home of one of humankind’s great civilizations,” capable of enriching “the political, social and economic life of this region.” She pressed the Iranians “to restore the confidence of the international community and live up to your international obligations,” but warned that the country risked isolation if it failed to address those concerns.

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