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Mar 05,2009
Kerry: Iran isn't just a U.S. problem
by UPI

WASHINGTON - Iran's nuclear program isn't just a U.S. problem and will require more than a U.S. solution, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Thursday.

"We know this is a challenge that we cannot deal with in isolation," Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said as he gaveled open a hearing on the U.S. strategy regarding Iran. "It is not just an American problem, and it cannot be just an American solution."

Among those testifying Thursday before the committee were Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter, and Gen. Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser for presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush. Kerry had been conducting a series of hearings on Iran this week.

"They know what it's like to come in to office staring at an almost overwhelming list of problems and having to figure out where the real priorities are and where the real opportunities for progress might be," Kerry said. "They know how to construct and implement a multifaceted approach to achieve an ultimate strategic goal."

Iran's leaders must understand the "full weight of the international community will come down on them" if the country's officials defy the U.N. Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its nuclear program.

"(Iran) also needs to understand that talks will not be a substitute for Iran meeting its international obligations," he said, adding that President Barack Obama's plan for troop withdrawal from Iraq could be a another source leverage with Iran.

"In short, we need to act boldly, wisely, and quickly with our allies and partners to win agreement on the way forward," Kerry said, "and to engage Iran backed by real consequences for its continued non-compliance."

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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