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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs