News / Middle East

    Clinton Defends Administration Outreach to Iran

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the Obama administration's diplomatic outreach to Iran in past months has helped its current effort to line up world support for new sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program. Administration Iran policy came under Republican criticism at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

    The issue of Iran's nuclear program dominated proceedings for a second straight day, as Clinton appeared at Congressional hearings to defend the administration's $53 billion foreign affairs budget for the coming year.

    At a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher suggested that while it may have pleased U.S. European allies, outreach to Iran in the early months of the Obama administration was seen as a sign of weakness by Iranian leaders.

    "Playing to our liberal nilly-willy friends in Europe is less important for us than being tough with the mullah-repressive regime, a murderous regime, that is engaged in murdering people of their streets," Rohrabacher said.  "Don't you think that this conciliatory tone, which as you just admitted, certainly has not been accepted by the mullahs, has in some way depressed or at least hurt the spirit on the streets of Iran of those young people who are trying to struggle to end this Mullah regime?" He asked

    Clinton acknowledged to Rohrabacher that U.S. overtures to Iran by various means to discuss its nuclear program and other issues have not drawn a response.

    But she said it was always a two-track approach that threatened penalties against Iran if it spurned dialogue on the nuclear issue, and that the engagement effort has brought the administration "an enormous amount of credibility and goodwill" in its current drive for new sanctions.

    She said the two-track strategy enjoys broad support among members of the Iranian opposition, including former prisoners with whom she has spoken.

    "They actually think President Obama has struck exactly the right tone and approach, to give heart to the people who are putting their lives on the line, who know that we support their efforts, but also recognize that they've got a long hard road ahead. And what we're trying to do is to get international opinion that will force the Iranian regime to change its calculations," she said.

    Clinton said Iran's refusal to respond, and what she termed a litany of acts of defiance on the nuclear issue "demonstrate what the facts are" concerning its ambitions for a nuclear capability, and have improved prospects for effective international sanctions.

    "I think because we were willing to engage, we have a much more receptive audience than we might have had otherwise," said Clinton.  "And I think that our efforts to move forward in the [U.N.] Security Council should not be viewed as our exclusive effort. Because we've stated clearly, we will look at additional bilateral, and preferably multi-lateral sanctions with willing nations, on top of whatever we get out of the Security Council," she added.

    Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful but Clinton has recently spoken about what she termed that country's "pursuit of nuclear weapons."

    She told Senators at hearings Wednesday progress is being made in convincing permanent Security Council members Russia and China on the need for more sanctions, and that she expects a resolution to be debated in the council in the next 30 to 60 days.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.