The US will "use all elements of American power" to prevent Iran
from obtaining a nuclear weapon, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters in Jerusalem Monday night.
The veiled threat was delivered at the end of a day of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
The comments come at a time when the US and Israel debate how best to deal with Iran's nuclear program. The US is seeking more time for negotiations and sanctions, while Israel has repeatedly hinted at military action.
Both suspect Iran may be aiming toward producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.
Clinton press conference
After her declaration about possible use of US power, Clinton said everyone prefers a diplomatic resolution, and "Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's."
'Choice is ultimately Iran's.' Clinton in Jerusalem (Photo: AFP)
Addressing the calls to release convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard,
Clinton said she does not
have "any expectation" that he will be freed.
Pollard was sentenced to life in prison by a US court some 26 years ago.
As for Sunday's incident in which Egyptian protesters in Alexandria threw tomatoes and shoes at her motorcade, Clinton jokingly said she was not offended but felt bad that so many tomatoes were being wasted.
Earlier, officials in Jerusalem
is pressuring the Israeli government to offer a new package of incentives to entice Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
to return to the negotiating table,
According to US officials, recent polls taken in the West Bank indicate that support for Hamas
is growing for the fist time in many years.
Clinton with Netanyahu and Barak (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Clinton met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and Defense Minister Ehud Barak
in the Israeli capital Monday evening. During the meeting, the Israeli premier asked the top US diplomat to share some impressions from her recent visit to Egypt.
Netanyahu stressed the importance of preserving the Israel-Egypt peace treaty,
but officials said Clinton gave them the impression that newly-elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi
is currently focusing on domestic issues.
Netanyahu and Clinton also discussed the Iranian nuclear
threat. "We have our common efforts to make sure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon," the PM said prior to the meeting.
Clinton added that "we will continue to consult closely as we have on an almost daily basis between our two governments to chart the best way forward for peace and stability for Israel,
the United States and the world."
Also on Monday, Clinton met President Shimon Peres for about an hour as part of what is perhaps her final visit to Israel as secretary of state, bringing a message of solidarity to the Jewish state after three and a half years of only stunted progress toward a Palestinian peace deal.
After their visit, they each issued a statement to reporters without taking questions. Peres spoke about the importance of maintaining Israel's three-decade peace with Egypt, and decried the violence in neighboring Syria.
He also voiced support for the Obama administration's pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear activities _ which has sometimes been a point of contention between the US and Israel.
Before meeting Netanyahu and Barak, the US secretary of state met with PalestinianPrime Minister Salam Fayyad
AP contributed to the report
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