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

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.