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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid