'This Week' Transcript: Clinton and Ahmadinejad

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Let me ask you what the United States can do, as you say, to support the people of Iran? You know, during the Cold War, as you know so well, the Helsinki Accords was the framework by which the United States pressed the Soviet Union on human rights while still negotiating on arms control.


Why is it the United States today does not have a framework or any sustained intention of pressing Iran on human rights while still trying to figure out the nuclear situation? We keep hearing that officials don't want to upset the diplomatic apple cart?

HILLARY CLINTON: No, I don't think that's it at all. I-- I mean-- we have spoken out on human rights. We have done the best we could to support those inside through trying to open up access to telecommunications. So we are very much in favor of and speaking out on behalf of individual cases and more generally the human political civil rights of Iranians.

And, remember, when President Obama came into office he extended his hand. I mean very clearly and quite unprecedentally to the Iranian leadership and said, "We would be willing to have a diplomatic engagement with you." I think the sanctions that have been endorsed and now are being implemented by the international community, you know, demonstrates our engagement because, you know, we've said to the Iranians all along, "We have two tracks. We have the pressure track and we have the engagement, diplomatic track." And we still remain open to that diplomacy. But it's been very clear that the Iranians don't want to engage with us. And the final point I would make is, you know, we are trying to be effective as we help those inside Iran. We get-- and I meet with Iranian experts. And we get different advice. We get some who say, you know, "Full speed ahead. Don't worry about it. Just say whatever you have to say." Others who say, "Don't do that. This is a very delicate balance." So we try to walk that line.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Does it concern you that so many Iranians after the election -- so many of the protesters -- really weren't sure whether the Obama administration was on their side and to this day remain unsure. Iranians inside Iran?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I-- I don't know how that could be because 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.

So we made it very clear. But we also knew that the worst thing for those protesting was for them to be seen as stooges of the United States. So, again, what we've 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.

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