Clinton, Panetta talk treaties, Iran in SF

September 15, 2011 6:41:31 PM PDT
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited San Francisco on Thursday to commemorate the historic treaty between the United States and Australia.

Clinton, Panetta and their Australian counterparts were in the Presidio to commemorate the signing of a historic treaty 60 years ago. Clinton said the United States is committed to keeping a military presence in Australia and cooperation between the two forces.

At the same time, they said they recognize cyberspace as the battlefield of the future. With the treaty commemorated today, a cyber attack on one nation would be considered an attack on the other as well.

On another topic, Clinton told reporters on Thursday she is hopeful two Bay Area hikers imprisoned in Iran would be released soon.

Clinton and Panetta both said they believe Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer should be released on humanitarian grounds as promised by Iran. Both Clinton and Panetta said they're hopeful that will happen.

"At this point, we are not at all concerned because we have received word through a number of sources -- publicly and privately -- that the decision will be executed on," Clinton said.

"Our goal here is to try to get these hikers released," Panetta said. "We've been assured that steps will be taken to make that happen."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier in the week that the release of the two men is imminent. Clinton said it's not unusual for those releases to take time.

Bauer and Fattal have been held in Iran for more than two years.

Clinton is expected to stay in the Bay Area overnight. She will deliver the keynote address at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco on Friday.


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