Hillary Clinton: Nuclear Iran would start regional arms race


(CBS News) A nuclear armed Iran would start a regional arms race that would destabilize the region, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

"If Iran has a nuclear weapon, I can absolutely bet on it and know I will win, they will be in the market within hours. And that is going to create a cascade of difficult challenges for us and for Israel and for all of our friends and partners," Clinton told Charlie Rose in a joint interview conducted Wednesday with former Secretary of State James Baker.

Baker said he supported the administration's current efforts to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon but then bluntly said "at the end of the day, if we don't get it done the way the administration is working on it now, which I totally agree with, then we ought to take them out."

Clinton, as a sitting diplomat, was more cautious in her language, saying "we are working hard" on the issue when Rose turned the microphone to her for an immediate response.

"I think Jim and I both would agree that everybody needs to know, most particularly the Iranians, that we are serious that they cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon," she said.

"It is not only about Iran and about Iran's intentions, however one tries to discern them, it's about the arms race that would take place in the region with such unforeseen consequences, because you name any country with the means anywhere near Iran that is an Arab country," said Clinton.