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Home arrow Middle East arrow No interference from the U.S. the Iranian government has a responsibility to its own people
No interference from the U.S. the Iranian government has a responsibility to its own people چاپ ارسال به دوست,Los Angeles, CA, USA   
thumb_us_sd_logo.jpgU.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Philip Crowley

Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC
June 26, 2009



Cleric Statement calling on judges to take action against protestors,Situation must be solved by Iranian people and their own Government, World concern about Iranian credibility, Nuclear situation, Protests slowing down due to government intimidation, restrictions on expression and communication, Denial of Iranian officials fleeing to the U.S. No interference from the U.S. the Iranian governm

ent has a responsibility to its own people, Hope that Iran will heed to the will of their people, U.S. willing to engage Iran, but has not received a viable response, U.S. will wait to see how it plays out 

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QUESTION: On Iran, the – regarding the statement by the cleric Khatami of advising judges to deal cruelly with protestors, do you have any reaction to that? Any response to --
MR. CROWLEY: What statement is that?
QUESTION: This is a cleric in Iran who was calling on judges to take severe action on any protestors and deal with them – he used the term cruel –
MR. CROWLEY: I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with that particular statement. Obviously, the –
QUESTION: (Inaudible) sermon (inaudible) Friday prayer.
MR. CROWLEY: Yes, but I mean the President talked about this. Obviously, as he said and the Secretary has said and we will continue to reiterate that ultimately, this situation should be resolved peacefully.
I mean, Iran has a credibility problem. The problem they face is self-inflicted. It’s not a matter of something that was brought in from the outside. It’s a matter of something that clearly has developed from the inside of Iran. A significant segment of the Iranian population believes that their voices have not been heard, and that the results that Iran – the government has announced do not reflect the will of the people.
This is – but this is ultimately something that has to be resolved inside Iran by the Iranian Government, and, obviously, respecting the will of its people. For us, the United States, we’ve obviously had concerns about Iran in a number of areas. There’s obviously, within the international community, a lack of confidence in Iran, particularly in the declarations it has made in recent years regarding its nuclear ambitions. Clearly, this current situation does not add to the international community’s confidence or their credibility.
So I think it’s important for officials in Iran, as the President said a while ago, to meet the obligations that they have to their own people.
QUESTION: Do you see the protests in Iran ebbing?
MR. CROWLEY: I can’t characterize, James, what the current situation is. I mean, we obviously – what we have seen in recent days is active attempts by the government to intimidate the population, restrict the ability of people to express themselves, reflecting that universal right of both freedom of expression, freedom of assembly. As you have characterized very well, the restrictions that the government has placed on the media and its ability to cover what’s happening in Iran.
Obviously, that intimidation has probably had an effect on the ground. They’re putting pressure on these candidates and the people, trying to restrict their ability to gather, to communicate, and to express their views. But as the President said a short time ago, we have concerns about the behavior of the government. We have concerns about what they’ve done inside their country. And we’re just going to have to see how this plays out.
QUESTION: Just a related question. Is the United States denying visas to Iranian officials who are attempting to attend a UN conference here in the United States?
MR. CROWLEY: I’ll take the question. We just spent a few minutes trying to ascertain the answer, and thus far, the answer has been elusive.
QUESTION: You just spoke about – you just said that the Iranian Government is intimidating the people, and before that you said that they should resolve the issue peacefully. But at the Friday prayers today, they just said specifically that death penalty is what will wait for those who participate in any demonstration. Now, don’t you think that would call for some sort of intervention by the international community?
MR. CROWLEY: I think as the President and others have said, ultimately, this has to be resolved inside Iran. This is about the relationship between the Iranian Government and the Iranian people. I don’t see how you can impose some sort of result from outside the country. In fact, as the President has said, we have made a conscious effort to make sure that it’s clear that this is about what’s happening – about government actions, about the will of the people. We have not interfered in this process, and nor should we.
But when you think about governance in the 21st century, what Iran is doing, what other countries are doing, is inconsistent with what we see as being both the challenges that we face in the world and the responsibilities that – and obligations that government have to pursue the interests of their people. Ultimately, a government that tries to intimidate its people will not be successful. A government that tries to suppress information will not be successful. Governments that use information to empower their people in the 21st century will be successful. And that’s where our focus will be.
We obviously have a range of programs to both support democracy around the world, civil society around the world. The Secretary has spoken on a number of occasions about how to employ technology to foster communication and to open up processes of government to greater participation, and in the process of doing so, hold the government to – hold these governments to account. If that process succeeds, then you have what we consider to be responsible governments around the world. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve focused on social media and new media such as Facebook, Twitter, other things, because we’ve seen on the ground in Iran that this has, in fact, created a different kind of political dynamic and one that ultimately will be beneficial to Iran and other countries. And we hope that as Iran seeks to resolve its current situation, it will again heed the will of its people.
QUESTION: Is engagement – how would you characterize the status of the U.S. policy of engagement toward Iran right now?
MR. CROWLEY: I think I would say the President has made clear, the Secretary has made clear that we are willing to engage countries around the world. It’s not that we do a favor to these countries. Engagement is a means to an end. Engagement is not a favor to a country. Engagement is a means by which the United States can pursue its national interest. We seek engagement with Iran through a variety of means. We’ve – as we’ve said here many times, interested in having a dialogue, a more active dialogue with Iran together with our international partners through the P-5+1 process to actually address Iran’s nuclear ambitions, its nuclear programs, and clarify what it has done and where it intends to take that program. That’s not doing a favor to Iran. It’s because we recognize that the current trend is very concerning to us, as the President said a short time ago.
So, obviously, we are willing to engage Iran. We’re willing to enter into dialogue in a variety of settings. But clearly, how current events and future events transpire and Iran’s willingness to enter into this dialogue, which we’ll just wait and see. But so far, despite the President’s offers of engagement, we haven’t seen a meaningful response from Iran materialize.
QUESTION: I know that – I understand your rationale for engagement, but the question I’m asking, I guess, is whether you think recent events have damaged the prospect.
MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think as the President said today, we’re going to wait and see how this plays out. And depending on how this plays out, it will influence what we do in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

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