News / Europe

Gates Hopes Iran Sanctions Will Avoid Military Action

Multimedia

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he hopes strong international sanctions on Iran will forestall the need for a military strike designed to end the country's chances of developing a nuclear weapon.  Gates spoke in Paris, where he and his French counterpart Herve Morin agreed it is time for sanctions after months of diplomatic overtures from the West have not had any impact on Iranian leaders.  
 
Secretary Gates is working with allies to develop an effective sanctions regime targeting Iran's government, while having minimal impact on its people.  U.S. officials say they hope to bring a resolution to the U.N. Security Council this month, while France holds the rotating presidency.

Gates says Iran has not responded constructively to President Barack Obama's unprecedented and long effort to start a dialogue on its nuclear program.  But asked whether he is concerned Israel might launch an air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities now that the Iranian president has ordered the resumption of uranium enrichment, the secretary said he believes there is still a chance for sanctions and other forms of diplomatic pressure to work.

"Everybody's interest is in seeing this issue resolved without a resort to conflict," he said.  "The key is persuading the Iranian leaders that their long-term best interests are best served by not having nuclear weapons, as opposed to having them.  And so I think that an approach along these lines, as long as the international community is seen pressing vigorously to resolve this problem, my hope is we will then be able to keep this in economic and diplomatic channels."

French Defense Minister Herve Morin agreed.  He said it is clear nothing has changed in Iranian nuclear policy, and so it is time to begin talking about new economic sanctions.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, French Defense Minister Herve Morin at a news conference in Paris, 10 Feb. 2010
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, French Defense Minister Herve Morin at a news conference in Paris, 10 Feb. 2010

The two defense ministers also discussed Afghanistan, with both defending France's role, even though it is adding only 80 trainers in the current round of NATO commitments.  They noted France made more significant increases before last week's defense ministers' meeting in Istanbul.  The two men also welcomed improvements in U.S.-French defense relations in recent years, including France's return to NATO's military command.

But they did not agree on everything.  France is considering selling a large naval assault vessel to Russia.  Secretary Gates declined to comment in detail, saying only they had had "a good and thorough exchange of views" on the subject.  Minister Morin defended the plan, saying the West's old nemesis, Russia, has "changed deeply" in the past 20 years, and it is time to nurture a new relationship with it.
 

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid