News / USA

Kerry: Obama Wants Diplomatic Solution to Iran

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a bilateral meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. February 8, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a bilateral meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. February 8, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Ferdinando
New U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says President Barack Obama remains committed to a diplomatic solution over Iran's disputed nuclear program, but is ready to do "whatever is necessary" to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. 

On the job for one full week, Secretary of State Kerry is dealing with the most pressing global issues: Iran's nuclear program, the continued bloodshed in Syria, the situation in Mali, and human rights around the world.

In his first bilateral meeting as the top U.S. diplomat, Secretary Kerry said the choice is up to Iran whether it is ready to talk or become further isolated. 

He said President Obama wants a diplomatic solution in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, but is ready to take other steps to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapon.

"The president has made it clear that his preference is to have a diplomatic solution, but if he cannot get there, he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to make certain that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon," said Kerry.

Kerry said the P5+1 group, made up of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, is "unified" in its approach in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

He said the "window for diplomacy is still open" for Tehran, as the U.S. and its international partners prepare to meet with Iran in Kazakhstan in two weeks.

"We've made our position clear," said the secretary of state.  "The choice is really ultimately up to Iran.  The international community is ready to respond if Iran comes prepared to talk real substance and to address the concerns which could not be more clear about their nuclear program.  If they don't, then they will choose to leave themselves more isolated."

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who Kerry hosted at the State Department Friday, echoed concern for a nuclear-armed Iran.

"We believe that beyond Iran's material support for terrorism, beyond their abysmal and deteriorating human rights record, the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran is the biggest threat to international peace and security," he said.

Both Secretary Kerry and his visiting Canadian counterpart also expressed deep concern about the continued bloodshed in Syria.

Kerry, who succeeded Hillary Clinton in the diplomatic post, began the press availability underscoring the "extraordinary strength" in ties between the United States and its northern neighbor, which have a trillion-dollar trade relationship and a shared border of thousands of kilometers. 

Secretary Kerry said they discussed the Keystone oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.  The project has faced opposition from environmental groups and President Obama last year postponed approval of extending the pipeline, requiring more environmental impact studies.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid