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.
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid