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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs