WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Energy issues are a matter that concerns national security and therefore are a driving force in formulating foreign policy, the U.S. secretary of state said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered an address at Georgetown University describing how energy shapes national concerns beyond the economy.
"Energy cuts across the entirety of U.S. foreign policy," she said. "It's a matter of national security and global stability."
Last year's civil war in Libya shut down production from one of Africa's leading oil nations, causing global market disruptions. Iranian threats to close oil shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz, meanwhile, prompted oil prices to reach historic highs during the beginning of the year.
In terms of Iran, Clinton said targeting the country's energy sector with sanctions required "painstaking diplomacy" that extended beyond oil and natural gas interests.
Many countries that are rich in energy resources, she added, are less democratic and more economically fragile than those without natural reserves. They are also more likely to be led by non-democratic governments.
"But the resources aren't the problem. It's greed," she said. "The resources can be used to transform a country's future for the better, but only if they're used the right way for the right purposes."
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