U.S. Won't Back Down on Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addressed the issue of the United States’ growing displeasure with Iran today at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations luncheon. Speaking to a packed crowd, Rice reiterated the administration’s commitment to leaving all options on the table but underlined their commitment to achieving disarmament at all costs.

"The Iranian leadership, the Iranian regime is isolating itself by their behavior…I think that we will be able to demonstrate to Iran that it has no other option but to disarm," said Rice. "It is not just that the U.S. believes Iran is on a dangerous path…the U.S., in coordination with its allies, will have to seek a Security Council resolution."

Rice also made it clear that the U.S. is prepared to go beyond seeking action from the U.N. Security Council and, if need be, to call on our allies in the Coalition of the Willing.

"I believe we can make diplomacy work…we have options at out disposal that are not even with the Security Council."

Addressing the Iraq situation, Rice briefly touched on the lack of good intelligence prior to 9/11, calling our country "defenseless in many ways on September 11. I know what came across my desk. I know how little information we really had."

But she made sure to make the distinction between the situation in Iraq and that in Iran, saying that "Iran is not Iraq…the remedies [besides force] for us are quite robust."

Rice also cautioned, "Americans must prepare themselves for the realization that there will be no Iraqi equivalent of a VE-Day or VJ-day…Americans must also prepare themselves that another election in Iraq is now a long way off."

Concluding on an optimistic note, Rice said, "I do believe that if we do our work well, if we do not lose our will, if we stay true to our values, that we will wonder why did we ever doubt the triumph of democracy in the Middle East."