Iran is a threat not only to the security of the US but also to the Middle East and other parts of the world, the White House said, against the backdrop of the release of secret US documents by WikiLeaks which showed that the countries in the region feel threatened by Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
"They (Iran) are a threat to our security; they're a threat to Middle East stability; they're a threat to countries throughout the world not because our diplomat told some other country's diplomat, hey, Iran is a threat," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "Iran is a threat because of their pursuit of not a peaceful nuclear power programme but an elicit nuclear weapons programme.
Those are common interests that we share in ensuring that a country like that doesn't have the ability to make progress on that programme," he told reporters at his daily news conference.
It is obvious that countries throughout the world, including in North America, Europe and the Middle East "understand the threat that a nuclear Iran poses, again, not because we said it was a threat but because they recognize, either for regional stability or overall global stability, that dealing with their pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme is a grave concern not just to us but also to them," he said. Separately, State Department spokesman P J Crowley said:
"We all see a danger with the direction that Iran is on. We want to see Iran change direction and play a more constructive role in the region and around the world and live up to its international obligations." "We are fully engaged with Saudi Arabia and many other countries. We all see the danger posed by Iran in a similar way," he said. Earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the stories coming in the media, based on leaked cables, show that America's concern about Iran is well-founded.
"I think that it should not be a surprise to anyone that Iran is a source of great concern, not only in the United States; that what comes through in every meeting that I have anywhere in the world is a concern about Iranian actions and intentions," Clinton said.