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Clinton: Iran's threats "provocative and dangerous"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 03:05

Jan. 11 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Iran's threats to close the Strait of Hormuz are ''provocative and dangerous.'' Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Tension over the Strait of Hormuz. Iran recently conducted a series of military exercises at the Strait of Hormuz. The government also threatened to shut down the Strait, the world's most important oil shipping lane, if new U.S. and EU sanctions halt Iranian oil exports. On Wednesday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the threat, "provocative and dangerous." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON, SAYING: "I think it's important to recognize very clearly that the provocative rhetoric coming out of Iran in the last week has been quiet concerning. It has caused us and many of our partners in the region and around the world to reach out to the Iranians to impress upon them the provocative and dangerous nature of the threats to close the Straits of Hormuz. This is an international waterway. The United States and others are committed to keeping it open. It is part of the lifeline that keeps oil and gas moving around the world and it is also important to speak as clearly as we can to the Iranians about the dangers of this kind of provocation. " Clinton's remarks come on the same day that an Iranian nuclear scientist was blown up in his car by a motorbike hitman. Tehran blamed Israeli and U.S. agents while insisting the killing would not derail a nuclear program that has raised fears of war and threatened world oil supplies. At the Pentagon Wednesday spokesman George Little denied any U.S. involvement in the attack while Navy Captain John Kirby said there has been no change in U.S. posture over the events. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PENTAGON SPOKESMAN GEORGE LITTLE, SAYING: "The United States played no role whatsoever in the killing of this scientist and as to the broader issue of tensions, we have been very clear that we seek to lower the temperature on tensions with Iran and we think that things have calmed down a bit in recent days." (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAVY CAPTAIN JOHN KIRBY, SAYING: "There's been no change to force posture in the Gulf region as a result of this incident." While fears of war have forced up oil prices, the region has seen periods of sabre-rattling and limited bloodshed before without reaching all-out conflict. But a willingness in Israel to attack Iranian nuclear sites, with or without U.S. backing, has heightened the sense that a crisis is coming. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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Clinton: Iran's threats "provocative and dangerous"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 03:05