ABC's Kirit Radia reports from the State Department:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tonight urged opposition movements throughout the Mideast to consolidate gains and move towards democratic rule in their countries.
“It won’t be easy. Iran provides a powerful cautionary tale for the transitions under way across the region. The democratic aspirations of 1979 were subverted by a new and brutal dictatorship,” she said in a speech to the Brookings Institution’s U.S.-Islamic World Forum, according to an advance copy of her remarks.
Clinton warned about “troubling signs” in Egypt and Tunisia where, just months after uprisings swept their dictators from power, women are being marginalized.
“So far women have been excluded from key transitional decision-making processes. When women marched through Tahrir Square to celebrate International Women’s Day in their new democracy, they were met by harassment and abuse. You can’t claim to have a democracy if half the population is silenced,”
She also warned Bahrain, where authorities have cracked down on protesters, that “Violence is not and cannot be the answer.”