News / Middle East

Clinton Says Iran Seeks to 'Hijack' Mideast Protests

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during a press conference at the US Embassy in Berlin, Germany, April 15, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during a press conference at the US Embassy in Berlin, Germany, April 15, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday accused Iran of trying to exploit and hijack democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa. Clinton spoke at the end of a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Berlin focusing on Libya and regional unrest.

In her strongest comments on the subject to date, Clinton is accusing Iran of hypocritically trying to align itself with popular uprisings in some North African and Middle Eastern states, while trying to thwart democracy movements at home and in its key ally Syria.

Speaking in Berlin a day after the State Department said Iran was materially aiding political repression by Syria, Clinton said there is no evidence Iran has instigated Middle East protests, but said Iran is trying to "take advantage" of the turmoil.

"They are trying to exploit unrest. They are trying to advance their agenda in neighboring countries. They continue to try to undermine peace and stability to provoke further conflict," said Clinton. "And we want people in the region to understand that the Iranian government’s motive here is to destabilize countries, not to assist them in their democratic transitions."

Clinton said Iran’s silence on anti-government  protests in Syria is a further example of "hypocrisy" by Tehran and said in an era of instant communication, no one is fooled by Iranian tactics.

The Wall Street Journal  Thursday quoted U.S. officials as saying Iran is sending Syria crowd-control gear along with help in blocking and monitoring Syrian protestors' use of the Internet, cell phones and text-messaging.

The State Department declined detailed comment on the report, but said there is "credible evidence" of material Iranian assistance for the government in Damascus.

On Syria, Clinton called on the government of President Bashar al-Assad to refrain from further violence and to, in her words, "stop repressing their citizens" and to allow in human rights monitors and journalists to verify what is happening on the ground.

Syria, controlled by President al-Assad and his late father since 1970, has been hit by unprecedented unrest since mid-March with demonstrators demanding reform and an end to emergency rule.

The monitoring group Human Rights Watch said Friday that Syrian security and intelligence services have arbitrarily detained hundreds of protestors across the country, subjecting them to torture and other ill treatment.

The New York-based group said security agents also have arrested lawyers, journalists and others who have endorsed the protests.

It said Assad, who has spoken of the need for reforms, should rein in security forces and hold them accountable for abuses and that there can be no real reform while protestors are abused with impunity.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid