New U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni yesterday vowed to work closely to resolve the stalemate over Iran's nuclear program, the Xinhua News Agency reported (see GSN, Jan. 22).
Shortly after taking her office, Clinton spoke with Livni by telephone; the officials agreed to increase pressure on Iran to halt atomic activities that could support nuclear weapons development, according to Haaretz. Tehran has defended its nuclear program as a strictly peaceful effort (Xinhua News Agency, Jan. 22).
Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner yesterday said he would continue efforts to strip controversial Iranian activities of funds and other resources, Agence France-Presse reported.
"If confirmed as secretary of the treasury, I would consider the full range of tools available to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, including unilateral measures, to prevent Iran from misusing the financial system to engage in proliferation and terrorism," Geithner said in a written response to questions from senators.
The Treasury Department, he added, "has done outstanding work in ratcheting up the pressure on Iran, both by vigorously enforcing our sanctions against Iran and by sharing information with key financial actors around the world about how Iran's deceptive conduct poses a threat to the integrity of the financial system" (Agence France-Presse/Google News, Jan. 23).