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Clinton On Iran At Global Town Hall Meeting

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a Global Town Townterview at the Newseum in Washington January 29, 2013. The Townterview, a mix of a town hall and television interview, is Clinton's 59th such meeting which comes just before her last day as S

The “educated, intelligent, historically significant” Iranian people “deserve to have a government that integrates them into the world".

At her final town hall meeting before leaving office as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton answered questions from around the world on a variety of topics, including U.S. policy toward Iran. Asked how she can reconcile the consequences of sanctions aimed at the government of Iran with the difficulties the Iranian people are experiencing in procuring essential items like medicines, Secretary Clinton explained the U.S. position:

“First, let me say on the medicine and on food and other necessities, there are no sanctions. . .We do not want the people of Iran to suffer and certainly to be deprived of necessary medicines.”

But, she said, the U.S., the UN, the European Union and other countries around the world which have imposed sanctions on Iran are faced with a dilemma, because they are deeply concerned about the Iranian government’s “actions and intentions:”

“We know that there is a lot of support for terrorism by the Iranian Government. We know they send out agents and proxies across the world to do bombings and assassinations. That’s deeply troubling. And we also know that their pursuit of a nuclear weapon would be incredibly dangerous to Iran, to the region and the world.”

So, Secretary Clinton said, the United States has tried to reach out diplomatically to Iran:

“President [Barack] Obama came into office saying that he wanted to engage in diplomacy with Iran to see if there were a way to end their nuclear weapons program. And we hope that that will still be possible. And we think the people of Iran, in their upcoming election, have the opportunity to send a very clear message.”

That message, said Secretary Clinton, is that the “educated, intelligent, historically significant” Iranian people “deserve to have a government that integrates them into the world, not isolates from the world. . .We hope that the Iranian people will speak out and make known their views to their own government.”