News / Middle East

Clinton: Internal Power Struggle in Iran Over Nuclear Weapons

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill, Feb. 28, 2012.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill, Feb. 28, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that there is an internal power struggle in Iran over the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons.  

Secretary Clinton says the U.S. intelligence community believes Iran has not yet decided to produce a nuclear weapon, in part, because there are deep-seated disagreements among its leaders about whether it is the right thing to do.

“There is a continuing debate going on inside the Iranian regime," said Clinton. "And it's an especially complicated debate for anybody on the outside, and I dare say some people who are on the inside, to understand because there is a lot of power struggle going on.  There are personality clashes.”

Clinton says that internal debate over the future of Iran's nuclear program includes members of the clergy, the Revolutionary Guard, the parliament and the presidency, leading to what she calls “a lot of static” in intelligence reporting on Tehran's atomic ambitions.

Much of the internal opposition to nuclear weapons comes from a fatwa issued by the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri.  A leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Montazeri ruled that Islamic law forbids the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful civilian purposes.  Clinton says there is no doubt that Iran has the right to develop such a peaceful civilian program.  But she told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that there is no doubt that much of what has been discovered by United Nations inspectors “points to the direction of a nuclear weapons program.”

The United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany are considering Iran's response to a request to resume talks over its nuclear program.  European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says she is cautious and optimistic that Iran might be ready to begin substantive talks.

There is added pressure to make progress on the issue as Israel reportedly considers preemptive military action to remove what it considers an Iranian threat.

Clinton says the international community is pursuing a dual track of intense pressure and a willingness to engage in talks.

“I want to gather as much information, not only about actions, but [also] about intentions," she said. "We have very deep, ongoing consultations with Israel, with the [Persian] Gulf Arabs, with the Europeans, with others.  There isn't anybody of any stature in the world in any government that really is not concerned about what the Iranians are doing.”

Clinton says tougher U.S. sanctions against Iran are having an economic effect.  As the world's third-largest exporter of crude oil, Iran is a major supplier for China, Japan and India as well as the European Union.

The United States is working with its European and Asian allies to dry up Iran's oil market because, they say, Tehran is using those profits to support its nuclear program.   

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid