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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid