There is a great deal of sadness on my part when I look at the strength and resilience of the Iranian people ... and see the very narrow-minded and unfortunately, oppressive regime."
In interviews with the Voice of America and the BBC, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about the threats posed by the Iranian regime, from its sponsorship of terror to the regime's attempt to acquire nuclear weapons.
But Secretary Clinton said the United States makes a clear distinction between the Iranian people and their government:
"There is a great deal of sadness on my part when I look at the strength and resilience of the Iranian people, the creativity, the intellect, the history and culture, and see the very narrow-minded and unfortunately, oppressive regime that is trying to control what the Iranian people can do."
Secretary Clinton said the United States supports the Iranian people's aspirations for freedom and the full exercise of their rights, and seeks to help in a variety of ways:
"We're speaking out whenever we possibly can; and we're designating individuals who we get enough evidence on as human rights abusers because we want to call them out by name, and we want to prevent them from traveling out of the country and try to shine a bright light on them."
In addition, said Secretary Clinton, the U.S. is trying to help the Iranian people evade the electronic curtain the regime has attempted to drape over the country to cut off communications among its citizens and between them and the outside world:
"What we're doing is providing certain kinds of equipment, certain kinds of programs, certain kinds of training so that people, both virtually and in person, can get the skills needed and the equipment required to try to subvert and circumvent the electronic curtain."
Secretary of State Clinton also announced the creation by the end of the year of what she called "virtual Embassy Tehran," where Iranians will be able to get information online about visas and student exchanges. "We're trying to reach out to the Iranian people," she said.
"We would be thrilled if tomorrow the regime in Iran had a change of mind and said, 'Why are we suppressing the brilliance of our young people. Let's let the future of Iran flourish.'" The United States, said Secretary Clinton, will do whatever it can and whatever the Iranian people want it to do, to help bring about that future.