The pictures are from Mme. Secretary’s visit to Ecuador on June 8 of this year. She got along well with President Correa. Tonight, CNN reported thay he had been tear-gassed, brought to a hospital, and thought he was kidnapped because the police would not let him leave the hospital.
Events in Ecuador
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
September 30, 2010
We are closely following events in Ecuador. The United States deplores violence and lawlessness and we express our full support for President Rafael Correa, and the institutions of democratic government in that country.
We urge all Ecuadorians to come together and to work within the framework of Ecuador’s democratic institutions to reach a rapid and peaceful restoration of order.
Remarks With Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela Before Their Meeting
Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State
September 30, 2010
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome the vice president and foreign minister from Panama here today. I’ve had the opportunity of already working with him. We last met in Lima during the OAS Assembly there, and I’m looking forward to having an in-depth discussion about all of the issues we face.
VICE PRESIDENT VARELA: Thank you, Secretary of State. I’m very happy to be here in Washington today in this meeting with Secretary of State Clinton. The United States is a key partner for Panama, and we can work very closely in the region to make a more secure region. I’m looking forward to – for future agreements to be ratified with Congress in the future, to strengthen our relationship, and make sure that we keep working together to make this a more secure effort for all the people that live here. So, I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking forward to the meeting too.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Juan Carlos.
VICE PRESIDENT VARELA: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Senator Kerry, and thank you for your strong leadership that produced the 14-4 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I’m very grateful that Chairman Kerry and Ranking Member Lugar were at the forefront of making the case why the treaty is so much in America’s national security interests.
I also applaud the continuous resolution that included money that will be spent in order to modernize our nuclear facilities and begin the process of updating not only our technology, but training of personnel that are necessary in order to ensure that we are providing good stewardship of America’s nuclear programs.
This vote that was in the Committee demonstrates unequivocally that national security is a bipartisan commitment. As we have seen with every arms control agreement, going back to the original START 1 treaty that was passed, ratified by the Senate 18 years ago tomorrow, this is an obligation and responsibility that senators addressed without regard for the day-to-day politics. In fact, that last treaty, as John will know by doing the arithmetic, occurred in another election year, but that does not in any way undermine the bipartisan acknowledgment of the importance of continuing this critical work.
We have had excellent conversations with senators on both sides of the aisle and we will continue to answer questions and work with the Senate broadly beyond the committee in preparation for the vote that we are hoping will occur in the lame duck session, because we ran out of time here during the Senate before it went out prior to the election.
But the support for new START by our entire military leadership, our intelligence community, six former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense, three former national security advisors, and seven former commanders of U.S. Strategic Command is an extraordinary endorsement of why this treaty needs to be passed, and passed in the lame duck session.
So again, I thank the chairman for his leadership, for the great vote that we got from the committee, and I look forward to the vote in the lame duck session that will once again demonstrate the Senate joining all of its predecessors in years past to continue to support arms control treaty.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:
9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries of the Regional Bureaus, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)
11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Senator John Kerry, on Capitol Hill.
(MEDIA DETERMINED BY OFFICE OF SENATOR KERRY)
12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Senator Chuck Schumer, on Capitol Hill.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)
12:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius hold refugee consultations with Members of the House of Representatives, on Capitol Hill. (MEDIA DETERMINED BY CONGRESS)
3:00 p.m. SecretaryClinton holds a bilateral meeting with Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela at the Department of State. (CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)
4:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)
6:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends a reception and dinner to recognize the Meridian International Center’s 50th Anniversary, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)
Remarks With Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes After Their Meeting
Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State
September 29, 2010
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It is a great honor to welcome President Funes to the Department of State today. I was honored to represent President Obama and the United States at his inauguration. And I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss many matters of importance to El Salvador and the United States with the President.
The United States is committed to assisting El Salvador to deal with the challenges it faces in terms of security and economic growth. As part of that commitment, last week at the United Nations, Foreign Minister Martinez represented El Salvador as we launched the BRIDGE initiative, which stands for Building Remittance Investment for Development, Growth and Entrepreneurship.
And Mr. President, we are very pleased that our ambassador has finally arrived in El Salvador so that we can get to work on all of the issues that we have discussed today. And I look forward to deepening and broadening our partnership in the months ahead.
PRESIDENT FUNES: (Via interpreter) Thank you, friends of the media, Madam Secretary, officers of my government, we are pleased of being here in sharing the issues that are common to all of us, but also sharing the solutions to those issues. Since the beginning of my government 16 months ago, I said that the problems of my country are shared with Central America and we are going to be able to overcome them only with the support of the U.S. Government. That is why we have identified two strategies. One is to reduce the actions of organized crime and the other one is to reduce poverty.
So I am pleased that with the meeting, after listening to Madam Secretary, that we’re going to put together a task force together with all the Central American countries and start a work plan to attack these two issues.
And I’d also like to thank personally Madam Secretary and the support of Mr. Obama’s Administration for the – 18 months more of the TPS that is going to promote all the 200,000 Salvadorans that live and work in the United States. And I’ve also – I also want to thank the support with this special fund that is going to bring fresh sources for investors from money coming from the remittances that are sent to our country.
And of course, we are also pleased of the appointment of (inaudible) Mari Carmen Aponte that finally arrived to our country as an Ambassador of the United States.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT FUNES: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.
Remarks With German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle After Their Meeting
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
September 29, 2010
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Treaty Room of the State Department. I am delighted to welcome the foreign minister back to Washington. He and I have gotten to know each other over the course of the last year since his appointment, and I very much appreciate the chance to work with him. We talked a lot over lunch about the many issues that Germany and the United States are concerned about and how we can together strengthen security and foster prosperity, not only in our own countries but throughout Europe and the world.
The partnership between Germany and the United States is very strong. It’s vital and it is essential to our respective citizens. We see that in Europe where Germany has led the effort to sustain and strengthen European integration, including the expansion of NATO and the European Union. And I congratulate the foreign minister and Chancellor Merkel and the people of Germany on the upcoming commemoration of unification.
In Afghanistan, Germany has shown a continued commitment to the international mission and the future of the Afghan people. Whether it is in the wake of an earthquake in Haiti or a devastating flood in Pakistan, Germany is there with support to assist the people who are so devastated by these natural disasters. We see so much evidence every day of Germany’s leadership and the critical role that the German-American partnership plays in the world to promote peace, defeat common threats, further economic growth, reduce poverty, and defend democracy and human rights.
Today, the foreign minister and I discussed several priorities, including the Middle East peace process, ensuring that Iran meets its international obligations, the upcoming NATO and U.S.-EU summits in Lisbon. It is always a great pleasure to work with the foreign minister.
And on Sunday, October 3rd, the world will be reminded of all that Germany has accomplished in the last two decades to heal its wounds and to reconcile its people. German unification is a remarkable story. It is testament to the vision of Germany’s leaders and the strength of the German people. I often talk about it, Minister, with others who are not yet able to overcome past differences in order to build a better shared future. But Germany has shown the world that walls can be torn down, that communities can be stitched back together, that lasting peace is possible even after long periods of division and discord, and that cooperation is the best way to achieve peace, progress, and prosperity.
So on behalf of the American people, let me extend congratulations to the people of Germany on this upcoming anniversary, thank you for your many years of friendship and partnership, and pledge that the United States will continue to look for ways to deepen and broaden the work we do together. Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, Hillary, it is a great pleasure to be back in Washington. Thank you very much for your warm hospitality. We had a very good conversation, intensive dialogue, and it was very good to exchange our ideas and our perspectives, of course.
Please allow me, first of all, a few words to a very special occasion. On Sunday we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of German unity, and it is something what you mentioned, and you expressed your appreciation what the German people did in those days. But I, by myself, I would like to thank you. I would like to express our gratitude to the Government of the United States of America, but also to the people of the United States of America for their great support over so long years. You stand with us in the painful time when we have been divided as a country. You worked with us for our unification, and the German unification was also the European reunification.
And I really want to express our gratitude to the people of America. We really are very grateful about your support and we are now in a very, very close friendship like we saw in our meeting here. Once again, without your unconditional support, our freedom and our unity would not have been possible, and this is something the German people will never forget to the American people.
Thank you very much, first of all, to this. And now I would like to change for some short remarks into my native language.
(Via interpreter) I would like to repeat in my very own language too that I want to express my heartfelt and strong gratitude towards the American people for having cooperated with their government to contribute to German reunification. That is something that Germany, that the German people, and the German Government will never forget, especially as we are looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of that very date of reunification.
We are facing important foreign policy decisions this autumn. Our intention is to use the NATO summit on 19th and 20th November this year to pass a new Strategic Concept of NATO. Secretary General Rasmussen has circulated a draft that we believe provides a good basis for further discussions and that takes up many of the suggestions that we have made in the process of preparing this new Strategic Concept.
The very important topic of Afghanistan too will be a point where the Lisbon summit will provide an important milestone. Our intention is to prepare the ground to throw the switches, so to speak, to prepare the ground for a step-by-step handover of the security responsibility, the responsibility for the security into Afghan hands. We want that to begin next year.
We also talked about the Mideast, and I assured my colleague once again of the very strong support that we intend to show and that we have shown for the American effort in the peace process.
(In English) I told Secretary Clinton that we wholeheartedly support the American efforts to take the Middle East peace process forward. The renewed direct talks are a historic change that must not be missed, and therefore we welcome the engagement of the American Government, of Secretary Clinton, of the President Obama. We think this is very important. The strong leadership in this process is so important and it is in our common interest that we bring this peace process to a successful and peaceful end, and therefore I also welcome the engagement of our High Representative of the European Union, of Cathy Ashton, and I think it is very, very supportable and very – we appreciate really her visit now to the region in the Middle East which she will start tomorrow.
(In German.) (Laughter.)
INTERPRETER: He was saying I don’t have – there’s no need for interpretation.
FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Yeah, I really waited for the translation. I’m sorry. (Laughter.)
Finally, we discussed also the relations with Turkey. The relationship clearly has a strategic dimension for both of us. Turkey is not only a NATO ally; it is also an important player in the region. We want to cooperate closely and it is in our own interest that the perspective of Turkey remains European and Western.
Thank you very much for your (inaudible) and thank you very much once again for your hospitality.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Guido. Thank you very much.
MR. TONER: We have time for just two questions. Kim.
QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary, I have two questions for you, if I may. The first one is on Iran. You met Mrs. Ashton this morning. She has offered to meet with the Iranians. I was wondering whether you have any sense yet – whether she has any sense yet of what the Iranian response is going to be, and how are you going to take this forward?
My second question is about one of your former counterparts. The former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has announced that he’s leaving frontline politics. You worked very closely with him when he was still in office. I was wondering if you had any reactions. And he’s going to be looking for a job. I wonder if you have any advice for him. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Cathy Ashton has consistently conveyed to Iran the readiness of the P-5+1 to meet with Iran over its nuclear program. And that is a standing invitation. Guido and I were in New York together last week. Lady Ashton held a meeting for the P-5+1 foreign ministers, and we all agreed that we wanted to see the diplomatic process begin again but the ball was in the Iranian court, that they had thus far not officially confirmed to Lady Ashton their willingness to meet in the P-5+1 or offered any dates for such a meeting. So we continue to hope that we will be able to see that meeting occur.
And I have no advice for anyone in politics. (Laughter.) I’m out of politics. I obviously wish him well and I am very intrigued by the interesting political dynamics that are occurring inside the United Kingdom. But we are very, very pleased that our relationship with the current government of Prime Minister Cameron is very strong and focused on all of the important issues that we are working on together.
QUESTION: And a few words about (inaudible)?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I enjoyed working with him and I wish him well.
FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: I agree. (Laughter.) So once again, an excellent (inaudible) for American-German friendship.
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s right.
FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: No, we will miss him, of course. He was an excellent colleague and the last year I could work with him together, and we really appreciated his work, but one door was closed and other doors will get opened.
QUESTION: My name is Christian Wilp. I’m with N-TV, RTL German Television. I have a question for both Madam Secretary and (inaudible) minister. How would you describe the current terror threats in the United States and in Europe, and are you especially concerned about terrorists with a German passport?
FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: (Via interpreter) Relations between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany are excellent, and I think that is also important to mention because we are standing together in combating terrorism. We exchanged views and we also exchange intelligence where available. And we do so in order to better coordinate our actions in fighting terrorism. We’ve done so in the past and our intention is to continue that practice into the future, which is to say, in other words, that the cooperation between both our countries is to the benefit of the citizens of both our countries, which is to say that we’re providing for their very own security, that we’re protecting them against terrorist threats, against the use of violence. And our intention is to continue that excellent cooperation.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I can only say I agree. (Laughter.) It’s a very important part of our cooperation. We don’t comment on any specific threats or specific intelligence, but there is a very positive level of exchange of information that goes on constantly. And we are very grateful for that strong partnership.
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, (inaudible)?
SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t comment on any specific threats or any specific question about intelligence.
FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: And once again, we agree. (Laughter.)
Briefing With Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
September 29, 2010
MR. TONER: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department. It’s our great pleasure to have the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury here. They’ll make brief remarks and then take a few questions.
Go ahead, Madam Secretary. SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mark, and I’m delighted to have Secretary Geithner here at the State Department for this important announcement.
Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order targeting eight Iranian officials responsible for serious and sustained human rights abuses since the disputed election of June 2009. On these officials’ watch or under their command, Iranian citizens have been arbitrarily arrested, beaten, tortured, raped, blackmailed, and killed. Yet the Iranian Government has ignored repeated calls from the international community to end these abuses, to hold to account those responsible and respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens. And Iran has failed to meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The steady deterioration in human rights conditions in Iran has obliged the United States to speak out time and time again. And today, we are announcing specific actions that correspond to our deep concern. The mounting evidence of repression against anyone who questions Iranian Government decisions or advocates for transparency or even attempts to defend political prisoners is very troubling.
This week, Iranian authorities banned two reformist political parties and shut down two more newspapers. This follows a series of convictions and harsh sentences for a number of political prisoners. Two internationally recognized human rights defenders were sentenced to six-year prison terms. A student leader was given an eight and a half year sentence for insulting the president. Human rights lawyers, bloggers, journalists and activists for women’s rights have all been jailed and many have fallen ill due to mistreatment in prison.
Now, these actions obviously contradict recent claims made at the United Nations that Iranians enjoy the right of free expression and that no one is imprisoned for political reasons. In signing this Executive Order, the President sends the message that the United States stands up for the universal rights of all people. And as President Obama said at the United Nations last week, we will call out those who suppress ideas. We will serve as a voice for the voiceless. And we will hold abuse of governments and individuals accountable for their actions.
This is the first time the United States has imposed sanctions against Iran based on human rights abuses. We would like to be able to tell you that it might be the last, but we fear not. We now have at our disposal a new tool that allows us to designate individual Iranians, officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights violations, and do so in a way that does not in any way impact on the well-being of the Iranian people themselves.
The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 permits us to impose financial sanctions and deny U.S. visas to specific Iranian officials where there is credible evidence against them. In doing so today, we declare our solidarity with their victims and with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights and their dignity and their freedom. By doing so, we convey our strong support for the rule of law, and we speak out for those unable to speak for themselves because they are jailed or frightened or fear retribution against themselves or their families.
Today, again, we call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran and around the world, and we call on the Iranian Government to take actions to end these abuses and respect the universal rights and freedoms of its own citizens.
Secretary Geithner. SECRETARY GEITHNER: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. I want to thank you and I want to compliment my colleague, Stuart Levey, and his counterparts at the State Department for working so closely together in designing these significant financial actions.
Just a few words on how these measures work and why they are effective: Rather than relying on the traditional approach of broad-based sanctions on the entire country of Iran, we have tried to focus on specific actors, institutions, and actions that threaten our interests as a whole. And we have found that when we single out individuals and expose their conduct, banks, businesses, and governments around the world respond by cutting off their economic and financial dealings with these individuals, these institutions, these businesses.
And this strategy can be very effective. We’ve seen a growing number of companies and financial institutions in countries around the world cut or substantially curtail their financial ties with Iran. They have decided – they have looked at, they have assessed the risks of continuing to do business with these entities, and they have decided that those risks are too great. And we already have indications that Iran’s leadership is concerned about the implications about the impact of this trend.
We have made important progress, and I want to emphasize, as the Secretary of State did, that our goal is not to hurt the Iranian people; our goal is to enact strong, effective measures that will pressure the leadership of Iran to abandon their dangerous course. And we will continue to find ways to target illicit conduct in all areas that threaten our interests.
Thank you. MR. TONER: Go ahead, Matt. QUESTION: Yeah. To both secretaries, just on the efficiency and the effectiveness of these sanctions, I mean, given the fact that thus far the rather broad sanctions that have been imposed on the IRGC and others trying to bring them back to the nuclear table haven’t seemed to work, it doesn’t – I’d just like to know what indications you have that those are working and why you think these, which are targeted at specific human rights abusers or alleged specific human rights abusers, will make any difference in their behavior.
And then Secretary Clinton, just separately, have you had any word back from the Omani delegation that is in Iran now talking about the possible release of the two remaining hikers? Thank you. SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Matt, first we do believe that the sanctions in place that were achieved through effort in the United Nations and then the additional sanctions imposed by our Congress and Administration along with the EU, Japan, and others, are having an impact. Stuart Levey gave a speech in New York – last week, Stuart? MR. LEVEY: Yes. SECRETARY CLINTON: — outlining the evidence that we have that these sanctions are beginning to be viewed as quite serious within the Iranian political, clerical, and business communities. So from our perspective, the diplomatic effort we engaged in over the course of the last year and a half has made very clear the unity of the international community with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, and we are engaged in discussions with our colleagues in the P-5+1 about an eventual return to the diplomatic table by the Iranians.
This is a different approach, as both Tim and I have said. We are using this new tool that the Congress has just given us to basically publicize and connect to the human rights abuses that are ongoing in Iran those officials about whom we have credible evidence who are responsible for either ordering or implementing these abuses, because we’ve always said that we not only cared about the nuclear program in Iran, we cared about the people of Iran and we cared about their conditions in their country, and we became quite concerned following the disputed elections.
So this is a – both a practical announcement in that there are financial and travel restrictions that will be imposed, but it is a statement of our values. And it is not only about the people of Iran who are suffering, but it expresses solidarity with victims of these kinds of actions around the world. SECRETARY GEITHNER: When we found that when you focus on specific institutions, individuals, entities, and you focus on specific activities they are undertaking to demonstrate, it’s easier both to get broad-based support for financial – economic consequence, and that’s the basic rationale for the strategy.
Now, how do we know it’s working? We can see and we can see every week how hard it is for the Iranian Government to evade, get around, these things. It’s become much harder for them, the cost of doing it much more difficult, and that is having a big, visible impact in awareness among the leadership of Iran that the actions they’re taking have acute, severe, significant, economic and financial consequences. QUESTION: On the Omanis? SECRETARY CLINTON: And I have nothing to add to (inaudible). QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I understand what you say about the fact that this new legislation gives you additional tools, but what took so long for the U.S. to name and shame these officials that were involved in the crackdown? You’ve been talking about how concerned you were about the human rights situation since the crackdown when it was at its most bloodiest right after the election. The opposition has been virtually kind of completely repressed and oppressed since then, and perhaps some kind of naming and shaming earlier might have given them a little bit more hope and encouragement. So was it more about making the legal case, about having the tools? Why did it take so long?
And also, do you think that – this week, you’ve been talking with the Iranians about getting back to the table. Do you think this move is going to cause the Iranians to pull back? SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, embedded in your question is the kind of evaluation that we have been engaged in consistently since the Administration came into office. We have a number of important goals in dealing with Iran. Obviously, the nuclear program and its potential to create a nuclear weaponized Iran is something that has grave consequences for the region and the balance among the countries there as well as the rest of the world. So we’ve been very clear, consistent, and achieved the goals that we set out in terms of the international sanctions, at the same time, offering both a diplomatic engagement as well as the pressure track.
We were very clear on criticizing the Iranian Government for their crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, on opposition, on the manipulation of the election. But we also were very mindful of the messages we were getting from Iranians both inside Iran and outside Iran that we had to be careful that this indigenous opposition that we certainly had nothing to do with that was attempting to stand up for the rights of the Iranian people was not somehow seen as a U.S. enterprise, because it wasn’t.
And so walking that line and trying to be both encouraging, forthright, and strong in our support of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Iranian people, at the same time not giving any reason for the Iranians to claim that this reaction from within was somehow either motivated or directed or connected with us, required a balancing act.
So that is what we’ve been doing, but we’ve been very consistent and persistent in pointing out the human rights abuses. And we did, with the accumulation of credible evidence, find ourselves, once the tools were in place, to be able to use them, which is what we’re announcing today. MR. TONER: Last question, Bloomberg. QUESTION: Thank you. Can you give us a sense with respect to these new sanctions of the size or scope of the holdings these eight individuals have in the States? SECRETARY GEITHNER: No, but I can tell you again, as I said before, you need to measure the impact by what it does to the incentives, businesses, and institutions around the world have for continuing to engage in economic commercial actions with Iran. The best way to measure the impact, as you’ve seen across a range of measures, is the direct economic financial costs to the regime of continuing on this path. And again, we have been effective, remarkably effective, in substantially raising the price of these actions, made it much harder for the government to get around them, much more costly to get around them, and we can see the impact in how they’re behaving. SECRETARY CLINTON: I would only add, and it kind of takes the last question as well as this one and combines them, we in the United States are clearly not alone in calling attention to ongoing human rights abuses and violations inside Iran. And in doing what we’ve done today, we are moving not just from criticizing the government, but beginning to call out individuals who are decision makers within that government and who we believe we can trace decisions to abuses in a manner that makes our case very strong.
So this is an ongoing effort with our partners around the world to affect the behavior of the Iranian Government and to send a very clear message that, as those of you who have traveled with me have heard me say before, that the original intentions of the Islamic Republic of Iran to have a franchise that was respected, to have a hybrid government of the elected and the clerical leadership appears to us to be undergoing severe distortion. And it really is ultimately up to the people of Iran themselves to speak out.
But of course, they are facing tremendous repression in the face of their advocacy for a much clearer sense of their citizenship role in Iran. And we’re not naïve. We know that thus far, this government has been impervious to our pleas and the pleas of many others. But we think it’s essential that we continue to make the case and today, we are adding in very specific terms with specific names to that case. Thank you. MR. TONER: Thank you very much.
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