Madam Secretary

Clinton on firing of Iranian foreign minister: Policy more important than person

When asked about the firing of Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki yesterday (and whether it was because he snubbed her recently), Secretary Clinton responded, "Whether one person or another is foreign minister is not as important as to what the policy of the Iranian government is in dealing with the international community on [its nuclear ...

-/AFP/Getty Images
-/AFP/Getty Images

When asked about the firing of Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki yesterday (and whether it was because he snubbed her recently), Secretary Clinton responded, "Whether one person or another is foreign minister is not as important as to what the policy of the Iranian government is in dealing with the international community on [its nuclear program]." She also said, "Our relationship toward Iran is not toward any individual. It is toward the country, the government.… So I don’t really have any insight or comment."

Regarding policy, it appears that Iran has no intention of changing its policies, including those pertaining to nuclear talks, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman telling reporters at a news conference, "With the change, we will not see any alteration of Iran’s basic policies."

Clinton make her remarks during a news conference yesterday while in Canada for the North American Foreign Ministers Meeting. On Iran, she also said, "The recent meeting in Geneva of the P5+1 was a good start. It was just that. It wasn’t more than that, but it was a good start to a return to a serious negotiations between Iran and the international community. And they agreed on a second meeting in January. We remain committed to pursuing every diplomatic avenue available to us and our international partners to persuade Iran to forgo a nuclear weapons program."

The video of the exchange starts at 29:00 in this video:

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. @pjaroonFP

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