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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid