DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she believed the nuclear stand-off with Iran could be resolved diplomatically but that Tehran must not be allowed to become a nuclear weapons power.
Just one day after getting agreement on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution against Tehran, Rice offered the incentive of a "more normal relationship" and expanded trade if Iran gave up sensitive nuclear work, according to the prepared text of her speech to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
In a conciliatory note after weeks of anti-Iranian rhetoric by the Bush administration, Rice said the United States had no desire for Iran to be a "permanent enemy".
"Iranians are a proud people with a great culture, and we respect the contributions they have made to world civilization," she said.
But she said Washington had real differences with Iran's government, from its pursuit of a nuclear weapon to support for terrorism and what the United States sees as Tehran's destabilizing policies in Iraq.
Rice said that agreement reached between foreign ministers of major powers in Berlin on Tuesday for a third sanctions resolution showed that the world remained united over not wanting Iran to become a nuclear weapons power.
"We will continue to hold Iran to its international obligations," said Rice.
Amazingly no other blog that I read has picked up on this yet. I thought heads would be popping all over the place.