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U.S. Concerned About Iranian Rights


Iranian soldiers march during an annual military parade in the capital Tehran.

The U.S. fears an increase in the influence of Iran's military is a sign that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the military in Iran, particularly the Revolutionary Guard Corps, is increasing its influence:

"I have grave disagreements with the Iranian revolution; but the early advocates of it said this would be a republic. It would be an Islamic Republic, but it would be a republic. Then we saw a very flawed election, and we've seen the elected officials turn to the military to enforce their power. And a lot of Iranians – even those who stayed, even those who were originally sympathetic -- are starting to say, 'This is not what we signed up for."

Speaking on the ABC news program, This Week, Secretary Clinton said that the United States has supported the Iranian people by trying to open access to communications technology in the country and by speaking out in defense of the human, political, and civil rights of all Iranians:

"We made it very clear that we supported the legitimate efforts of the Iranian people to protest and demonstrate against a flawed election. We made it very clear to the Iranians that we thought that they had not only conducted an illegitimate election, but counter to their own stated and professed laws and constitution."

Secretary Clinton said the Obama administration has stood up for the right of Iranians to exercise their universal rights:

"What we tried to do is to stand up for the human rights of every person, most particularly those brave Iranians – you know, lawyers and activists and others who are standing up and saying to the regime, 'No. You have to fulfill the promises you yourselves have made about what we should expect,' without undermining their efforts."

It's a delicate problem, said Secretary of State Clinton, "but our bottom line is... we think the Iranian people deserve so much more than what they are now being given, and we are worried about the direction we see Iran headed."

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