News / Middle East

Hillary Clinton Cautious on Iran Talks

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Chatham House Prize award ceremony in central London, Oct. 11, 2013.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Chatham House Prize award ceremony in central London, Oct. 11, 2013.
Al Pessin
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is too soon to know whether the different approach to nuclear talks taken by Iran’s new government will result in real progress on the issue that has divided Iran and the international community for years.  Clinton spoke at Chatham House in London.

Former secretary Clinton was in office during several rounds of talks between Iran and the United Nations contact group known as the P5+1.  Those talks failed and led to strong international sanctions that are crippling the Iranian economy.

But much has happened since she left office in January, including the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani, and his conciliatory words at the U.N. General Assembly last month.  He had his foreign minister meet with the P5+1, and he took a phone call from U.S. President Barack Obama.

But Clinton told the Chatham House gathering she is not convinced that what she called the more collegial and diplomatic approach signals in a real change in Iranian policy.  She said that may become clear at the next round of talks next week in Geneva.

“In Geneva next week, I will be most interested in hearing if the Iranians are putting any meat on the bones of their hope that there can be a negotiation that leads to a resolution that is satisfying to them and acceptable to us.  And I just think we don’t have any way of knowing that yet," said Clinton.

Clinton said Iran needs to make a substantive response to the longstanding proposal by the U.N. contact group for a series of steps that could reassure the international community about Iran’s nuclear program and lead to an easing of the sanctions.  

In a wide-ranging hour-long conversation with the Chatham House audience, Clinton also called for more robust efforts to strengthen the military capability of the moderate Syrian opposition.  She said the opposition’s leaders cannot be credible without a strong military behind them.  She also welcomed the agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, and said it should be used as a first step toward reaching a political settlement of Syria’s civil war.

Clinton is in London to accept the annual Chatham House Prize for her contribution to diplomacy and her advocacy of gender equality.  In answer to the final question at the event, she endorsed a plan by Saudi women to stage a driving protest to demand the right to drive.  She called the Kingdom’s ban on women driving “hard to even rationalize.”

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs