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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid