By Geneva Sands - 06/21/12 05:33 PM EDT
"Everybody needs to know — most particularly the Iranians — that we are serious that they cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. It’s 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," Clinton told Charlie Rose in an interview posted online Thursday and aired on CBS's "This Morning."
Clinton warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would create a "cascade of difficult challenges" for both the United Stated and its ally Israel.
"You name any country with the means, anywhere near Iran that is an Arab country, 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," she said.
Clinton's remarks came as part of an hour-long interview, during which she spoke alongside former Secretary of State James Baker at the State Department in a special series Wednesday on "Charlie Rose," called "Conversations on Diplomacy."
Baker, free of political office, agreed that every possible avenue should be explored to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, but said if all else fails, "we ought to take them out" — which drew laughter from Clinton.
"We're working hard, we're working hard," she added.
During the interview Clinton also said that one of the "real successes" of the U.S. diplomatic strategy is that the Chinese and Russians have been a part of a unified negotiating stance towards Iran.
"I think the Iranians have been surprised ... the Russians and the Chinese have been absolutely clear they don’t want to see Iran with a nuclear weapon. They have to see concrete steps taken by Iran that are in line with Iran’s international obligations," Clinton said.