News / Middle East

US: Iran Must Abide by Nuclear Commitments

Iran's nuclear power plant at Bushehr (file photo)
Iran's nuclear power plant at Bushehr (file photo)

The United States on Wednesday reiterated its call for Iran to abide by international commitments regarding its nuclear program. The statements came amid media reports in Israel about government discussions of a possible military strike on Iran.

A Knesset speech on Monday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Iranian nuclear threat was followed by additional reports in Israeli media about internal government discussions on a possible preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Amid the flurry of reports, Israel on Wednesday test-fired a missile in what an Israeli defense official called a long-planned exercise.

In Tehran, Iran's top military official warned of harsh retaliation, not only against Israel but also U.S. interests, in the event of an Israeli military strike.

At the State Department in Washington, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment on what she called "stray press reports" out of Israel, directing reporters to the Israeli government for its position.

She said the United States remains committed to Israel's security, and shares concerns about the direction Iran's nuclear program is taking.

"We and Israel share a deep concern about the direction that Iran is taking.  We continue to work with Israel, with the international community to speak clearly with regard to Iran's nuclear obligations.  And you know where we are on this, that Iran has got to take the necessary steps established by the international community to come back into compliance with its obligations," Nuland said.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also declined comment on specific reports, saying that the United States remains focused on the threat posed by Iran and its failure to live up to international commitments.

Carney said the United States remains focused on a diplomatic course in dealing with Iran, and reiterated the U.S. belief that U.S. and international sanctions have been effective in sending a message to Iran.

"The actions we have taken, this administration has taken, have isolated Iran - through sanctions and other actions - to the point where, I believe, the president of Iran himself recently conceded that those sanctions are having a dramatic negative impact on their economy," Carney said.

Carney said he had nothing to report about any new conversations between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.  

He had no reaction to a vote by a U.S. congressional panel on Wednesday approving legislation to toughen sanctions on Iran, focusing on its banking and energy sectors.

In a recent interview with the U.S. government funded Persian News Network, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said sanctions were a response to Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

"The strongest sanctions were adopted by the United Nations when it became abundantly clear that the regime is pursuing a nuclear weapons program.  Everyone believes that the covert actions, the covert facilities, the misleading information is part of an attempt by the regime to acquire nuclear weapons, which would be very de-stabilizing," Clinton said.

Iran denies that its atomic program is weapons-related, saying that nuclear development is for peaceful civilian energy purposes.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said this week that Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons, and that Israel must continue bolster its military to "counter the challenges that lie ahead."

But Israeli media have quoted key officials as downplaying reports about government discussions regarding any Israeli attack on Iran.  Israel's foreign minister said reports of a push for the Israeli cabinet to approve an attack had "no connection with reality."

The U.S. statements and flurry of media reports come less than a week before the the International Atomic Energy Agency is due to release a report on Iran's nuclear activities.

The Guardian newspaper in Britain reported Wednesday that the study will likely contain new evidence about Iranian efforts to develop an atomic weapon.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs