Clinton: WikiLeaks Proves World Shares Concern Over Nuclear Iran

In first formal response to disclosure of 250,000 U.S. documents, Secretary of State says she has taken "steps to ensure this kind of breach 'cannot and does not ever happen again.'

Recently exposed classified diplomatic cables show U.S. concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program are shared by the global community, United States Secretary of State Hillary said Monday, in the first formal reaction to the release of 250,000 diplomatic cables between the United States and its allies by the whistleblower site on Sunday.

"I think that it should not be a surprise that Iran is a source of great concern, not only in the U.S.," Clinton said, adding that "the comments reported in the cables prove that Iran poses a serious threat in the eyes of its neighbors, and beyond the region."

Clinton stressed that the concern about Iran, which was "well founded and widely shared" was the reason the U.S. had imposed sanctions on Iran, and that it would continue to be "at the source of the policy that we pursue with like-minded nations to try to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

Hillary Clinton AP 29.11.2010

Secretary of State Clinton, in her first formal response to the WikiLeaks scandal, said that the "United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information."

"It puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems," Clinton said, adding that the "disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign-policy interests."

"It is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity," Clinton said, adding that the United States was "aggressively" seeking out those who were responsible for the breach.

"I have directed that specific actions be taken at the State Department, in addition to new security safeguards at the Department of Defense and elsewhere, to protect State Department information so that this kind of breach cannot and does not ever happen again," Clinton added.

Referring to the possible damage the disclosure could have on relations between Washington and countries around the globe, Clinton said that she was "confident that the partnerships that the Obama administration has worked so hard to build will withstand this challenge."

"The president and I have made these partnerships a priority, and we are proud of the progress that they have helped achieve," the secretary of states said, adding that those links would "remain at the center of our efforts."

Clinton also reiterated a claim made by U.S. officials in recent days, according to which official foreign policy was not set through diplomatic cables such as those exposed by WikiLeaks but "here in Washington."

"Our policy is a matter of public record, as reflected in our statements," Clitnon said, adding that "U.S. diplomats meet with local human rights workers, journalists, religious leaders and others outside of government who offer their own candid insights."

Earlier on Monday, a top U.S. law enforcement officer said a U.S. investigation into the source behind the leaking of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks was ongoing.

"We have an active, ongoing criminal investigation with regard to this matter," Attorney General Eric Holder said, adding the probe was being carried out with the Department of Defense.

Holder added that WikiLeaks used the information it had obtained irresponsibly, as opposed to members of the press and news agencies.

“I think there's a real basis… to believe that crimes have been committed," he said.