Iran General NewsRice: Iran out of step with Mideast change

Rice: Iran out of step with Mideast change

-

AP: As political change takes hold in several Middle Eastern countries, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that Iran’s leaders “should not consider themselves immune” from such developments. The United States and other nations have complaints about Iran’s government that go beyond the current international effort to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon, Rice said. Associated Press

ANNE GEARAN

WASHINGTON – As political change takes hold in several Middle Eastern countries, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that Iran’s leaders “should not consider themselves immune” from such developments.

The United States and other nations have complaints about Iran’s government that go beyond the current international effort to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon, Rice said.

Iran has exported terrorism and is “out of step with a region that is trying very hard now to move toward a two-state solution” of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, she said.

“It’s not just the Iranian nuclear program,” Rice said after meeting with Kuwait’s foreign minister.

“The Iranians should not consider themselves immune from the major changes that are going on in the region and we would hope that they would begin to engage in more stabilizing behavior,” Rice said.

Separately, a deputy to Rice told Congress that the United States will not offer fresh economic incentives to induce Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions.

“There is no reason to believe that extra incentives offered by the United States at this point would make a real difference,” Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said.

Rice’s remarks about Iran did not include a specific reference to the progress of democracy in the Middle East, a major thrust of President Bush’s second term. Her words about major regional changes echoed previous speeches on the subject.

The Bush administrations points to successful elections in the Palestinian territories and in Iraq as hopeful signs that democracy is spreading in a region where single-party governments or family dynasties dominate.

Kuwait is in the latter category, but Rice congratulated Foreign Minister Sheik Mohammed Al Sabah for his country’s decision this week to allow women to vote.

Washington also sees progress in the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon and the street demonstrations that preceded it. Lebanon will begin holding elections this month. Egypt is expected to hold its first contested multiparty elections in the fall.

Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that diplomatic and trade relations Europe has maintained with Iran over the years have not persuaded Iran to give up its nuclear weapons aspirations.

Burns said there is no reason to think that any U.S. “opening of the trade gates” would fare better.

The United States did agree two months ago to drop its opposition to Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization and to allow some sales of spare parts for Iran’s civilian aircraft.

The offer was made after Iran’s clerical government agreed to suspend all uranium-enrichment related activities. Lately, Iran has threatened to reverse the suspension, reinforcing concern in Washington and elsewhere that Iran is committed to becoming a nuclear weapons power.

Britain, Germany and France have suggested that any move to end the freeze could lead the U.N. Security Council to consider economic penalties against Iran.

Iran claims its nuclear program is aimed merely at generating electricity.

The United States, while supportive of the European effort, is skeptical about the outcome, said a senior administration official this week who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are continuing.

He said Iran seems to be testing the strength of the U.S.-European Union partnership on Tehran’s nuclear program, but Washington does not think diplomacy has run its course.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, is scheduled to meet foreign ministers of the three European Union countries on May 24 to resume nuclear talks.

Latest news

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

How Internet Censorship Is Damaging Iran’s Economy

While in the last four months, internet access in Iran has been cut off or severely limited, the regime’s...

Must read

Mogherini’s Iran trip will lead to more executions – NCRI

Iran Focus London, 27 Jul - Iran's main opposition...

UN watchdog says nuclear talks with Iran failed

Reuters: The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you