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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 30, 2009

Index for Today's Briefing
    • Secretary Clinton Working from Home, Recovering
    • Ambassador Philip Goldberg Leads Interagency Delegation to Beijing / Delegation to Meet with Representatives of Ministries Involved in Implementation of UNSCR 1874
    • U.S. Making Legal Assessment of Facts and Applicability of Funds Cut-Off Provision / U.S. Looking at Various Aspects of Cooperation / Constitutional Order in Honduras Overturned
    • President Zelaya in New York to Address General Assembly / Intends to Participate in OAS Special General Assembly in Washington / State Department Officials to Meet with Him
    • U.S. Believes President Zelaya is Democratically Elected, Constitutional President of Honduras / President Zelaya Should be Allowed to Serve Remainder of His Term / Events Inconsistent with Principles of Inter-American Charter / U.S Working Through OAS and Multilaterally
    • U.S. Ambassador Llorens Remains in Place / Embassy Issued Warden Message and Travel Alert / Embassy Open for Emergency Services Only / Evaluating Situation Daily
    • Special Envoy Mitchell - Defense Minister Barak Meeting Ongoing / Part of Mitchell's Efforts to Enable Both Sides to Resume Negotiations
    • All Parties Have to Meet Obligations Under Roadmap / U.S. Will Not Set Time Limits
    • President Lukashenko Signed Decree Pardoning Emanuel Zeltser / U.S. Welcomes News of Imminent Release / U.S. Happy to Have This Obstacle in Bilateral Relations Removed
    • U.S. Seeking Dialogue with Chinese Authorities Regarding Software Concerns / Embassy Seeking Confirmation of Implementation Delay with Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
    • Department Preparing for Meetings Between Presidents Obama and Medvedev / Respective Governments Working on Framework or Roadmap for Successor Arrangement to START
  • IRAN
    • U.S. Concerned About Credibility Gap / Process Still to Play Out / Iranian Government Has to Take Seriously Concerns of Huge Part of Their Population / U.S. Has Concerns About Lack of Consensus in Iran / Iranian Government Not Respecting Will of Its People / Concerns About Political Process in Iran
    • Iran Has Not Addressed Concerns of International Community about Nuclear Program
    • U.S. To Make Decisions Based on National Interests of United States
    • U.S. Laid Out Expectations in P-5+1 / Actions Have Not Taken Place
    • Iran Could Address Concerns By Allowing International Coverage of Events / Allow Free Flow of Information Via Internet / Start Political Process That Involves All Parties


12:37 p.m. EDT

MR. KELLY: Well, welcome to the briefing. Welcome to part two of the briefing, and I do appreciate Ambassador Verveer coming down and talking to you guys about her recent trip to Afghanistan and giving you all a chance to get an idea of the important work that she’s doing.

Secretary of State Clinton is working from home today. She’s receiving the normal kinds of briefings and paper that she would receive if she were in the office, and also, of course, staying in contact via telephone.

I want to make a formal announcement, something that you already know: Ambassador Philip Goldberg, Coordinator for Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874, today leads an interagency delegation, including representatives of the National Security Council and Departments of Treasury and Defense to Beijing.

His delegation will have meetings July 2nd and 3rd in Beijing with representatives of foreign affairs and other ministries involved in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874. The purpose of the trip is to consult with our partners in the region on the implementation of this Security Council Resolution 1874. Ambassador Goldberg plans to remain in Beijing. We don’t have the details on the rest of his itinerary. We expect to very soon, and as soon as we have that itinerary, we’ll release the rest of his schedule.

And with that, I’ll go to your questions.

QUESTION: I have one about that trip. Is he going to be meeting with members of the private sector, with banks, with people that – you mentioned the White House briefing on --

MR. KELLY: The focus of his trip is to talk to the – is talk about the implementation of the resolution. So I expect that his meetings will be primarily official meetings, but I don’t have the full schedule in front of me.

QUESTION: And I guess you don’t have details of what Danny Glaser – the Treasury folks are going to --

MR. KELLY: No, I don’t. I’d refer you to those other agencies for details.

QUESTION: Honduras.

MR. KELLY: Elise. Yes.

QUESTION: Can you talk about the review of U.S. aid to Honduras in the wake of the coup –President Zelaya?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. As we talked about yesterday, there is a provision in section – I think it’s 7008 of the foreign operation act that obliges us to make a legal assessment of the facts on the ground and whether or not the funds cut-off provision applies to these circumstances. And so there is this process that’s going on right now in our Office of the Legal Adviser.

QUESTION: Well, but there are also things that you don’t need to go through these kind of complicated provisions, like the Millennium Challenge Account or other – I mean, aren’t you also reviewing kind of what you can do, kind of quickly, without the kind of complicated foreign service --

MR. KELLY: Well, I think – because of the situation and the very dramatic nature of the events there and our profound concern about what’s going on there, I think we’re looking at a number of aspects of our cooperation. But what I was referring to is this very, very specific legal provision that applies.


MR. KELLY: Yeah, Charlie.

QUESTION: -- without being simplistic, and I understand there are legalities, but if you’ve got a president who’s been ousted, and you’ve got troops in charge, not constitutionally elected, I’m --

MR. KELLY: Well, yeah.

QUESTION: -- not quite sure what the complication is.

MR. KELLY: Well, okay. You heard what the Secretary said yesterday. She said that there is a coup.


MR. KELLY: The President said there’s a coup.


MR. KELLY: We do have some facts, of course, and the facts are that the constitutional order in Honduras has been overturned. But there’s also a – there’s a process that we need to follow, and that we are following now. And it’s a legal matter. And as you all know, when you – when a legal issue is involved, it’s good to consult your lawyers, so that’s what we’re doing.

Yeah, Sylvie.

QUESTION: President Zelaya was supposed to come here later today and to meet with a U.S. official. Is it somebody from this building, and who?

MR. KELLY: Well, as you know, President Zelaya has gone to New York. We understand that he’s gone to the UN. He’s been invited by the president of the UN General Assembly to address the General Assembly. I think that’s – I don’t know if that has started yet, but that was the plan.

In addition, we understand that he wants to come down to Washington and participate in the special General Assembly of the Organization of American States. If he does come down to Washington, and we expect he will, State Department officials plan to meet with him.


MR. KELLY: I’m sorry?


MR. KELLY: I can’t tell you right now who he’s going to meet with. But we’ll be able to tell you later.

QUESTION: Well, if he’s the president, that you’re legally recognizing him as the president of Honduras, and he was just thrown out on a coup, and you’re raising --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- all this support for him, why doesn’t President Obama or Secretary Clinton meet with him?

MR. KELLY: Well, for one thing, Secretary Clinton is not in the office. For another, I think you’ll have to address that to the White House. This is just something that came up today, and I understand that people from the State Department will meet with him today.

QUESTION: Can you tell us, I mean, what your message to him would be when you meet him? He’s expressed some desire to return to Honduras on Thursday.

MR. KELLY: Well, I think our message is going to be the same message that we’ve said publicly, that Secretary Clinton said yesterday and President Obama has said – that we think that President Zelaya is the democratically elected constitutional president of Honduras and should be allowed to serve out the rest of his term. And we’re working very closely through the mechanism of the Organization of American States, and we think that what happened in Honduras was inconsistent with the principles of the Inter-American charter, and that we need to work this multilaterally.

At the same time, there are fast-moving events up at the UN, too.

And so I think this is an opportunity to show our support for the presidentially – I mean, democratically elected president of Honduras, and also talk to him about how we’ve been coordinating with our allies, and part of that is in the OAS.

QUESTION: Do you think it’s a good idea for him to return on Thursday like he wants to?

MR. KELLY: I’m not going to – I’m just – I think it’s a good idea for him to be reinstated as the president of Honduras.

QUESTION: Will the U.S. be willing to provide any security for him if he returns to Honduras on Thursday?

MR. KELLY: That’s just not a question I’m prepared to answer, actually.

Yeah, Jill.

QUESTION: Yeah, Ian, just getting back – I hate to be kind of asking another legal question.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: But just – you say constitutional – you do have the facts. The constitutional order has been overturned.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: Okay. So is that the trigger? Is that enough to cut aid? Because then you said there’s a legal process to follow.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: In other words, have you defined – is that the trigger we have – you know, overthrow the constitutional order, therefore we have the right to cut the aid?

MR. KELLY: Well, we – like I say, there’s a process. We want to make sure that the newly confirmed Legal Adviser of the State Department Harold Koh and his team has a chance to make a determination on this.

QUESTION: Okay. So --

MR. KELLY: So that’s what’s happening right now.

QUESTION: Okay. So that’s not enough to stop the aid? The overturning of the constitutional order is not legally enough for you to stop that aid?

MR. KELLY: We need to have our legal experts look at the law, look at the facts on the ground, and make a determination.

QUESTION: And how long is that going to take?

MR. KELLY: Oh, it won’t take long. I can’t tell you exactly how long it’ll take, but I would expect it wouldn’t take very long.

QUESTION: Change of subject?

MR. KELLY: Change of subject? You have Honduras or --

QUESTION: No, change of subject.

MR. KELLY: Okay. Go ahead, Sylvie, and then we’ll get to you.

QUESTION: The meeting between Mitchell and Barak --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- this morning in New York. Do you have a readout?

MR. KELLY: As I understand it, the meeting is either still going on, or at least when I came down here, it was still going on. I was able to talk to one of his aides up in New York. He told me the discussions so far have been good and constructive, that this is part of our ongoing dialogue, Senator Mitchell’s ongoing efforts to get negotiations started, but that we don’t expect any dramatic agreement today.

QUESTION: And do you expect a statement or something at the end of this meeting?

MR. KELLY: That – I mean, that’ll be something for them to work out, whether they do a statement at all or they do a joint statement. I’m not sure. As I say, it’s still – as far as I know it’s still going on.

QUESTION: At least a readout from the American --

MR. KELLY: We’ll, see if we can get you a readout.

QUESTION: Yeah, okay.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I think you had a question, so --

QUESTION: She covered it.

MR. KELLY: Covered it, good. Okay.

QUESTION: Just quickly on Afghanistan, if you could take this question? How much has the U.S. Government provided to the Criminal Justice Task Force and --

MR. KELLY: Under what auspices? Under the Afghan Government, you mean?

QUESTION: Yeah. There’s a Criminal Justice Task Force that goes after narcotics traffickers.

MR. KELLY: Okay. You’re looking for bilateral assistance?

QUESTION: Yeah. How much total are you --

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Okay. There may be some assistance we do through multilateral mechanisms, too. Okay, well, we’ll take that question.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) bilateral.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: And if I may get back to just one. Ehud Barak (inaudible), as you may have read, is reportedly offering a three-month settlement freeze while Secretary Clinton and President Obama have called for a full stop to all kind of settlement activity, full stop.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: How would you react to that proposal? It doesn’t sound like you’re really being heard in Israel.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, what we’re doing right now, or what Senator Mitchell is doing, is working very hard to create the conditions that will enable both sides to resume negotiations. And you’ve heard me say many times from this podium that we believe that all parties have to meet their obligations under the Roadmap. And of course, you know for the Israelis, that means a stop to settlements, which means a freeze of all activity, including natural growth. The Palestinians have their own obligations under the Roadmap, and that’s stopping incitement and proving that they can improve security. We also have made it clear to Arab states in the region that they should take steps towards normalization.

As far as any kind of time limits, I think we’re not – we’re not interested in setting any kind of time limits before negotiations have even begun. And as you’ve also heard me say many times from this podium, we don’t really want to negotiate from the podium. We don’t want to negotiate via the media.


QUESTION: Sorry. Can I clarify that?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: What does that mean, “before negotiations have begun”? Does that mean before the Israelis and Palestinians talk about it they should be working on timelines, or before you and the --

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I just – what we want to do is get the parties to sit down, and I just don’t think it’s really fruitful for us to talk about any kind of time limit to those negotiations.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) there was a freeze of three months – the negotiations –

MR. KELLY: Well, like I say --

QUESTION: -- they have three months --

MR. KELLY: I just – I’m not going to get into the details --

QUESTION: Yeah, but that’s what you are relating to? That’s --

MR. KELLY: Well, no, I’m talking about the negotiations themselves – a time limit, a start point and an end point. I don’t think it’s useful for us to talk about.

QUESTION: It sounds like you’re getting out of this argument and for the longest time it’s between you – between the U.S. and Israel, and the criticism has been that it should be between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and it sounds like you’re trying to back out of that argument.

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, this is what we want. We want the two sides to sit down. We want to get to a point where we have the kind of conditions where they can sit down and start talking.

QUESTION: A follow-up, please?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: But if the Israelis agree to a three-month or a six-months freeze on settlement activity, all settlement activity, doesn't that give you a six-months window to try to get the peace process started? Would that be an acceptable compromise for you?

MR. KELLY: I’m not – as I say, I’m not going to negotiate from here, and I’m definitely not going to answer a question that begins “if.”

Yeah, Jill.

QUESTION: Ian, why is the Secretary working at home today?

MR. KELLY: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: Why is the Secretary working at home today?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think you can imagine why she’s working from home. She had a very serious break in her elbow, and she is – she’s recovering from that. I mean, you saw her yesterday. She’s energetic, she’s fully engaged, but we need to make sure that she heals and then can get back to a full schedule where she can come in every day.

QUESTION: Okay. We saw her yesterday and she did look good. That’s why I was just struck by the fact that she was back home today.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, well, she’s a little – she’s in some pain.

QUESTION: But we shouldn’t read anything into the fact that she is home and President Zelaya may be coming down here?

MR. KELLY: No, no, no, you shouldn’t read anything into that at all. I mean, that – I mean, we announced that – that part of her schedule was determined before we knew President Zelaya was coming down.

Sylvie, you’re getting a lot of questions.

QUESTION: Yes, I told you. Belarus.

MR. KELLY: Belarus.

QUESTION: Yes. The president, Belarus President Lukashenko today ordered the release of the U.S. citizen, the U.S. lawyer Emanuel Zeltser.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Do you have any reaction?

MR. KELLY: I actually remember this case well because in a former life I – of course, I had some dealings in this case.

We understand that President Lukashenko has signed a presidential decree pardoning Mr. Zeltser. As you know, the Department and also our Embassy in Minsk have always advocated for Mr. Zeltser’s release on humanitarian grounds, and we welcome this news and are glad that his release appears imminent.

QUESTION: You are not a bit frustrated that his release after the visit of congressman – a U.S. congressman and not after the long work of your Embassy?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I understand that the issue was raised during a meeting with my senator, Senator Cardin from Maryland. And I mean, I’ll just leave it to Belarusian authorities to discuss if there was any coincidence of timing. We’re just happy that this American citizen, who really has been quite ill, is now able to leave prison – apparently. Well, I shouldn’t announce it before it’s happened.

QUESTION: And also, Lukashenko appears to be willing to resume dialogue with U.S. Do you think it’s something U.S. will be ready to do?

MR. KELLY: Well, I do know from my previous job that this was a major obstacle in our bilateral relations. We still have other concerns, of course, with some of the actions of the Belarusian Government, and so I’m – we’re very happy that this one obstacle has been removed, and we’ll review our policy as necessary.


QUESTION: Thank you. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday he willing to send a special envoy to North Korea. Does the United States have made decisions yet to send a special envoy to North Korea?

MR. KELLY: I actually am not aware of that news. This is a special envoy for what purpose?

QUESTION: To get, you know, two American journalists.

MR. KELLY: Ah. Well, like I say, I am not aware of that, and we’ll look into it.

Yeah, Dave.

QUESTION: Ian, it appears that the Chinese Government has postponed the – this regulation that was going to require the Green Dam software.

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Is this something that the United States worked out with China? Do you have a reaction to it?

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t have an immediate reaction to that because, as I understand it, our Embassy is still seeking confirmation of it. They’ve gone into the Ministry of Communication, I believe. I’m looking for the exact title here. We had a lot of guidance today.

At any rate, we are seeking confirmation of it. As I’ve said before, we’re seeking a dialogue with the relevant Chinese authorities regarding our concerns and, of course, the concerns of others, including in the private sector, regarding this software. And so our Embassy has gone into the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to seek confirmation of this news if they’re going to delay the implementation of requiring this software.

QUESTION: You’re looking for information, or looking to set up a dialogue to --

MR. KELLY: Well, both. We’re looking for confirmation that they’ve actually decided to delay it, and we’re also looking to have a dialogue about these issues.

QUESTION: How’s that going? Do you have some sort of sign that that’s going to --

MR. KELLY: Well, I think we’ll have more information when the Embassy reports back --

QUESTION: Did the Embassy protest that one time, or did they go multiple times? Do you know?

MR. KELLY: I’m not sure of the frequency of their going in, Kirit.

QUESTION: I’m just curious whether they went in prior to the announcement that – you know, more recently.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I don’t know if there’s a connection, but I do know the Chinese Government is very well aware of our concerns about this software.

Yeah, Arshad.

QUESTION: Ian, just to go back to something that you spoke about earlier. You said that the Legal Adviser’s Office is now formally looking at the question of whether there should be a legal determination on whether a military coup has occurred in Honduras.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: One, yesterday, Secretary Clinton told us that you were withholding that determination for now and not --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: You know, she didn’t say that you had --

MR. KELLY: (Inaudible) withholding.

QUESTION: -- (inaudible) the process, but you know, holding on --

MR. KELLY: She was – okay. Finish your question?

QUESTION: I think it was withholding. Yeah. And –

QUESTION: She said --

QUESTION: Yeah, and so my question is does the fact that you’ve begun the process mean that you are no longer withholding that, that you may actually come to a quick decision on this? As you suggested – you were just now – you said you didn’t think it would take very long.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: So – because it – my understanding from yesterday was you were holding off on that determination, partly to give time for diplomacy to work.

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm, yeah.

QUESTION: I’m trying to understand if the fact that L is now reviewing this --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- implies that you’re not withholding --

MR. KELLY: Right. Yesterday, we weren’t prepared to make a public determination that the – that this clause in the law applied. And as I said earlier, I spoke to our Office of Legal Adviser, and they’ve said we’ve got our analysis ongoing of this. So I would imagine that once we’ve made that determination, we’ll make the announcement.

QUESTION: But you’re already reviewing other areas that don’t fall into this specific clause on aid.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. We’re reviewing all of our assistance.


QUESTION: Other subject?

MR. KELLY: Sure.

QUESTION: Russia. Do you have any update, since we’re getting close to the summit, on Rose Gottemoeller and her group working on START, et cetera?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, I know that my erstwhile colleagues on team Russia is working extremely hard on preparing for the meetings between President Obama and President Medvedev. On – in early April when they met, of course, they instructed their respective governments to work on a number of issues, including coming up with some kind of – and I’m going to call it the wrong thing, but some kind of framework, some kind of roadmap for a successor arrangement to the START agreement, which, of course, runs out in early December. So that’s kind of a long way of answering that I’ll get back to you on what exactly Rose is doing. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Okay, thanks.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: On Iran, now that the Guardian Council has announced its decision and announced Ahmadinejad as the final winner with even more votes than before, is that enough for the U.S. Government, or are you still going to wait and see what happens on the street and by the opposition?

MR. KELLY: You know, as the Secretary said yesterday, we’re very concerned about what’s happening in Iran. We’re very concerned about this – what she called a credibility gap, or I think she even said a huge credibility gap. And so I think that the real question here is: Is this issue of the Iranian Government addressing these very real concerns of the Iranian people? And I think this process still has to play out.

QUESTION: Well, what are you waiting – what are you waiting to play out? I mean, are you waiting to see if the protests gain steam again and they – or they’re forced to make a decision? Are you waiting to see if Ahmadinejad gets sworn in again before you make a --

MR. KELLY: I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean by what are we waiting for.

QUESTION: Well, you say you’re waiting for it to play out. I mean, I’m just unclear what specifically you’re waiting for. I mean, are you waiting to see if the regime actually goes ahead and swears him in again as president to determine your next steps? I mean, you haven’t said whether you’re going to recognize the new government. I’m just not clear what you’re waiting to play out.

QUESTION: What is it that hasn’t played out?

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I – yeah. I think that there are – that the Iranian Government still has to take some action. It’s not just a matter of pronouncements. I think that they have to take very seriously these concerns of a huge part of their population.

QUESTION: Well, I know, but --

MR. KELLY: We don’t see that.


MR. KELLY: In addition, we don’t see that they’ve addressed the concerns of the international community about their nuclear program. So we’re still waiting for some actions.

QUESTION: Well, but – I know. I mean, you could wait indefinitely for some actions, but just kind of --

MR. KELLY: Well, maybe we – I hope we don’t.

QUESTION: But – okay, but, I mean, at what point do you say there will be consequences if you don’t see some actions? I mean, I just don’t understand what you – at what point you say, okay, this is played out, we’re going to make a determination of what to do.

MR. KELLY: Well, you know what the Secretary said yesterday. I mean, we’re going to – we are going to make decisions and base our actions on the national interests of the United States. We have two sets of concerns. We have the concerns about the lack of consensus in Iran, and we don’t think that the Iranian Government is respecting the will of its people. So that’s one set of concerns.

The other is the concerns of the international community about Iran’s nuclear program, and we’re going to just continue to raise these concerns until we see that action is taken.

QUESTION: Well, I understand. But that’s – waiting to see if – how it plays out, don’t you think that’s inconsistent with “we’re going to do what’s in the best interests of our national security interests regardless?”

MR. KELLY: I just – you’re asking us to take actions. I don’t think --

QUESTION: I’m asking you if you’re going to recognize the president or not. I’m asking if you’re going to recognize President Ahmadinejad as the legitimate government that you will be – that you say you want to deal with in – on your other national security interests.

MR. KELLY: All right. Well, I’ll make a few comments. One is that legitimacy of any government derives from the consent of the governed. I think that we’ve always had concerns about the political process in Iran. We also want to make sure that we have – that the concerns – that our concerns that affect our national security and those of our allies are also addressed. And we will make decisions on that based on our dealings with Iran, based on our national interests. We think, right now, that this internal situation needs to play out.

QUESTION: Sorry, can I follow up? But it has played out. The Guardian Council has said --

MR. KELLY: I don’t think it’s played out.

QUESTION: -- Ahmadinejad has – so what are you waiting for? You’re waiting for him to be sworn in?

MR. KELLY: Okay. I’ll say it again. We’re waiting for Iran to take some action.

QUESTION: What kind of action?

MR. KELLY: Well, they need to address the concerns of the international community.

QUESTION: But that’s separate from the election.

MR. KELLY: I know it’s separate from the election. We --

QUESTION: The nuclear file is separate from the election.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: And when it comes to that region, a lot of leaders have a legitimacy problem and a credibility gap with their people.


QUESTION: And you still deal with them, like President Mubarak --

MR. KELLY: That’s right. We do.

QUESTION: -- or President Asad of Syria.

MR. KELLY: We do.

QUESTION: So at what point do you decide that you’re going to deal with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

MR. KELLY: Well, we haven’t reached that point yet. We will reach that point when – I mean, we’ve laid out exactly what we think needs to happen in the P-5+1. Javier Solana has invited Iran to participate. We have said that we will participate. Those actions haven’t taken place. That meeting hasn’t materialized.


QUESTION: But that’s – sorry, that’s --

MR. KELLY: We will make decisions when we – when this situation materializes.

QUESTION: Okay. This is a theoretical question, but if tomorrow, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says “I’m the president of Iran, I’m willing to sit down with you to talk about the nuclear file -- ”

MR. KELLY: You know I’m not going to answer that.

QUESTION: -- would you recognize him as the president, or who would you talk to?

MR. KELLY: I just – I’m not going to answer that.

QUESTION: So what are you saying --

MR. KELLY: This is a moot question. We’ll deal with it when it happens.

QUESTION: They said he’s – won the election, and that they’ve scheduled his swearing-in. And so the question is: Once he is sweared in, are you --

MR. KELLY: I’m not going to answer that.

QUESTION: But it could --

MR. KELLY: We’ll deal with it when it happens, Elise. It hasn’t happened.

QUESTION: Okay, okay. We’ll ask you when it happens.

QUESTION: Okay. But you are saying --

QUESTION: It’s a bit confusing.

QUESTION: It’s a bit confusing. You are saying that you are going to recognize Ahmadinejad when they decide --

MR. KELLY: Did I say that?

QUESTION: -- when they decide they will attend this P-5+1 meeting. I don’t see the relationship.

MR. KELLY: Look, as the Secretary said yesterday, this – it’s a – the situation is still evolving in Iran. We have real concerns. The Iranian people have concerns. When and if the Iranians respond to the concerns of the international community and decide to abide by their responsibilities under their agreements --


MR. KELLY: -- we will make our decisions based on our national interests.

QUESTION: How does that address the credibility gap?

QUESTION: So just for clarification, though, because it’s a bit confusing. The questions were based on the election.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: When will you justify the election. And then you said the Iranian Government needs to take some actions.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: But you seem to be basing the actions on the nuclear issue.

QUESTION: Exactly.

QUESTION: So do they need to take actions on the nuclear --

MR. KELLY: No, no, no. I said they’re two separate issues.

QUESTION: Right, exactly, but --

MR. KELLY: There’s two separate issues.

QUESTION: -- people were asking about the elections and you said they need to take actions in your response.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: But then you started – the actions you started saying they needed to take were on the nuclear issue. So I’m a little confused --

MR. KELLY: Well, okay.

QUESTION: -- what actions they need to take --

MR. KELLY: I’ll repeat.

QUESTION: -- in order to have the election recognized.

MR. KELLY: We don’t think that they’ve addressed the concerns of the people, and they need to do that. They have – they’ve taken actions against their own people, that they need to address these issues. That’s one set of issues. The other set of issues is the international set of issues, and they haven’t taken actions in that regard either.

QUESTION: A quick question, Ian, just about the linkage between the two sets of issues. Are we – I may be mistaken, but are we to understand that the United States will confer legitimacy on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and turn a blind eye on the crackdown if they do what you want --

MR. KELLY: Have we turned a blind eye? We have not turned a blind eye to what’s happened. (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) If they come to the table about the nuclear issue, then are you going to recognize --

MR. KELLY: We’ll deal with that when the situation arrives.

QUESTION: Can I move you to Honduras a minute?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: To Latin America?

MR. KELLY: Okay.

QUESTION: Brazil has decided to remove the ambassador in Honduras. I want to know what information do you have from the U.S. Embassy in Honduras at this moment. Is there any plan of any ambassador removal if the situation deepens or there is any bad news there continuing?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: And also, today, there is a special extraordinary session in the American Organization States.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: And I spoke with some of the ambassadors, and all the foreign ministers of Latin America are coming. I want to know who is representing the U.S. in the meeting.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. That’s correct. There is going to be a – as I said before, a special session of the General Assembly of the OAS. It’s going to be later on this afternoon. We’ll get you information on who will represent us at this meeting.

As far as the Embassy’s involvement, we – our ambassador there, Ambassador Llorens, remains in place. We’re concerned about the situation on the ground there, so we’ve issued a Warden Message and Travel Alert – I believe that was yesterday – advising American citizens to defer nonessential travel to Honduras until further notice.

The Embassy is open today only for emergency services, and so there are no visa services available. But as far as decisions on Ambassador Llorens, he remains in place.

QUESTION: What about nonessential personnel?

MR. KELLY: There – I don’t believe that there’s any plans now to remove nonessential personnel.

QUESTION: But the Secretary --

MR. KELLY: Of course, we’re evaluating the situation daily.

QUESTION: The Secretary’s not going to attend the OAS?

MR. KELLY: I don’t believe so.

QUESTION: Back to Iran, one last one. You say we don’t think they have addressed the concerns of the people.


QUESTION: Okay. So what do they have to do to address the concerns of the people?

MR. KELLY: Well, there’s a number of things they could do. One, they could allow foreign journalists back in to allow international coverage of what’s going on. They can allow the free flow of information via the internet. They can start some kind of political process that involves all of the parties involved in the political process. There’s a number of things that they could do.

QUESTION: Sorry. Again, are you just saying those are things they need to do before you will recognize –

MR. KELLY: No, I’m just saying --

QUESTION: -- or is it just examples?

MR. KELLY: -- these are things that any government should do to --

QUESTION: Another --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- last question?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: On North Korea, Treasury Department just announced that United States will freeze assets of Iranian companies that helps North Korean weapons program. Do you --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- have any comment?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, we’re going to have an announcement on that. In fact, it may have already come out, but --

QUESTION: Treasury already put out the --

MR. KELLY: Treasury put it out, yeah. I’ll refer you to Treasury for the details of the implementation. But this just happened literally a few moments ago, so we’ll --

QUESTION: Do you think it’s going to have any effect, any impact on North Koreans?

MR. KELLY: Well, I certainly hope so. But for details, I’ll refer you to Treasury, but we’ll also have a Media Note that will --

QUESTION: Can you kind of explain to us what this effect is, I mean, specifically which companies --

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, Kirit, like I say, this literally just happened this morning. So we’ll put out a Media Note, and if you have further questions, you can let us know.

QUESTION: Was this coordinated with the trip of Ambassador Goldberg? Was this – the timing coordinated?

MR. KELLY: I don’t believe it was timed with the trip. I think it was – the decision was made on its own merits.

QUESTION: Do you have anything on the political situation in Niger?

MR. KELLY: I don’t think so. No, I don’t. What’s going on in --

QUESTION: There’s a political crisis. The president has dissolved the constitutional court and he is trying to stay in power --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- instead of getting reelected in September.

MR. KELLY: Well, that doesn’t sound good.


MR. KELLY: We’ll get you more information.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Okay. Thanks.

QUESTION: One question.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Diplomatic sources saying North Korea ship Kang Nam may be back in – heading back to North Korea, home. And you mentioned a number of times the U.S. is watching the vessel. So would you share with us what you have got so far about the situation?

MR. KELLY: No, I’m afraid I don’t have any further information on it.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:14 p.m.)

1DPB #09

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