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'All bets are off' for Iran and North Korea: US

"They (Iran and North Korea) are not in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. So for them, all bets are off," said defence secretary Robert Gates

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'All bets are off' for Iran and North Korea: US
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Arguing that Iran and North Korea are not heeding to the global community on the issue of nuclear weapons, the US today said "all bets are off" for the two countries.

"They (Iran and North Korea) are not in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. So for them, all bets are off. All the options are on the table," defence secretary Robert Gates told CBS news in a joint appearance with secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Clinton said the US still reserve the right to use nuclear weapons first if it think that America's security is in danger and requires that.

"Now, that's not our preference, and we make it very clear that we want to maintain a strong deterrent. We see that primarily for the purpose of deterring bad actors against us, and responding if necessary. But we did not go so far as to say, no first use," she said.

Responding to a question, Clinton said missile defence remains not only alive and well, but the US is going to be deploying it in Europe to protect its European allies and partners from a potential attack by Iran.

"We are going to continue to try to work with the Russians to convince them that this is in their interest as well as ours," she said. 

"Well, first of all, the negative security assurance that we won't use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states in conformity with or in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty is not a new thing.

"The new part of this is saying that we would not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state that attacked us with chemical and biological weapons," Gates said. 

Clinton said it has been a very positive week for American foreign policy, and particularly with respect to our nuclear posture.
 
"When it comes to Iran, we take everything they say with more than a grain of salt, because we know that they have a tendency to say things that may or may not be carried out, may or may not be accurate. But, in fact, their belligerence is helping to make our case every single day," she told ABC news.

"Countries that might have had doubts about Iranian intentions, who might have even questioned whether Iran was seeking nuclear weapons, are having those doubts dispelled as much by the evidence we present as by what comes out of the leadership of Iran," she said.

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