Hillary Clinton’s ‘Patient Diplomacy’: Let’s Wait and See on Iran

Oct 13, 2009 4:18pm

At a crucial point in U.S.-Russian relations, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Nightline’s Cynthia McFadden that if Iran
does not keep its promises not to pursue nuclear weapons, the
international community is in a better position than ever before to ask
for cooperation.

“But we all want to test this diplomatic engagement. So we don’t want
to look as though we’re not serious about it. Because we are serious
about it,” Clinton said. “The fact that Iran has said they will open
itself to nuclear inspections, that it will ship out low-enriched
uranium, let’s see if they do it.”

Watch Cynthia McFadden’s full interview WEDNESDAY on “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m. ET

Clinton reiterated that asking for sanctions against Iran was not on Tuesday’s agenda with Russian leaders. Instead, she said the “comprehensive meeting
with President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was
part of a “reset” in the history of icy relations between the U.S. and
Russia.

“Here we are, living in this virtual world where people are
communicating through cyberspace every second. But there is no
substitute for building relationships, trust, confidence, looking
people in the eye, listening to them, working together,” she said. 
“It’s old-fashioned, persistent, patient diplomacy, which I think is
the only way to go.”

On her first trip to Moscow since taking the reins at the State
Department, Clinton embraced the local culture. She told McFadden she
had plans to attend the opera and joked about taking part in vodka
shots at a diplomatic luncheon.

“I didn’t do very much. But I had to do some of it, for my country,” she said.

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