In recent testimony before Congress, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said the Iranian government “from an illicit nuclear program to support of terrorism to abusing human rights continues to ignore its international obligations and responsibilities and defy the consensus of the global international community.”
“Their costly and destructive decisions threaten international security, increase tensions in one of the most vital parts of the world and stifle the great potential of the Iranian people.”
Regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions Under Secretary Sherman said the United States, as President Barack Obama has made clear, “will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” Iran’s leaders, she said, have the choice to “live up to their international obligations…or continue down the path toward isolation.”
“We know which path Iran has chosen so far, so we’ve put in place a dual-track policy, ratcheting up pressure, while pursuing a diplomatic solution – pressure to incentivize Iran to seek a deal that addresses the international community’s legitimate concerns, engagement to give Iran a way to negotiate that deal if they choose to take it.”
“Iranians are owed their rights, freedoms and dignity that we cherish here as bedrocks of our nation that all people around the world deserve."
Under Secretary Sherman noted that the pressure of sanctions imposed on Iran by the United Nations, the United States and other countries, has had real consequences, and is necessary to make sure the Iranian government understands the cost of its behavior.
Beyond Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Under Secretary Sherman said the U.S. is concerned with Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East and beyond, including its support for the brutal campaign the Assad regime is waging against the Syrian people, and its support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah which threaten not only Israel, but innocent civilians worldwide.
The repression of the Iranian people by the Iranian government is also a matter of deep concern for the United States:
“Iranians are owed their rights, freedoms and dignity that we cherish here as bedrocks of our nation that all people around the world deserve. So we are helping Iranians break through the electronic curtain, creating virtual spaces for those voices that are suppressed and leveling sanctions to hold the individual and organizations behind the repression accountable.”
Under Secretary Sherman said the United States will continue to deal with the threat Iran presents to our security and global security “by developing smart and effective measures…that will force Iran’s leader to make better choices and empower the Iranian people to hold their government accountable.”