Did US policy or anti-Muslim film spark Mideast violence?
Amb. Susan Rice responds
- Duration 11:14
- Date Sep 16, 2012
Amb. Susan Rice responds
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Joining us now our ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice ambassador welcome back to Fox News thank you.
This week there have been anti American protests in two dozen countries across that Islamic world.
The White House says it has nothing to do with the president's policies -- walked.
This is not a case.
Protests directed at the United States.
Writ large or at US policy this is in response to a video that is offensive.
You don't really believe.
Chris absolutely I believe that because in fact there's the case.
We've had the evolution of of the Arab Spring over the last many months.
But what sparked the recent violence was the erring on the Internet a very hateful very offensive video.
That that has offended many people around the world now are strong view is that there's no excuse for violence it's absolutely reprehensible.
And never justified.
But in fact there have been those in in various parts -- world who have reacted with violence of their governments have it increasingly in effectively.
And protected our facilities and condemned they the violence and this is this.
Outrageous response to what is an offensive video but there's no question.
That as we've seen with that in the past with things like satanic verses with me cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
There have been such things that have sparked outrage and anger and since have been an approximate cause of what we've seen -- Made it may have sparked an ambassador to critics say that this outpouring.
Of of outrage against the US.
It has everything to do with the US policies that we are disengaging from that part of the world that we pulled out of Iraq we're pulling out of -- Afghanistan.
That Iran is continuing on.
What its nuclear program and they say.
Our critics that are allies no longer trust us and our enemy is no longer -- were -- Chris that's just false and let's be plain and a DR partners and allies have responded.
Effectively and properly when we have asked them to protect our facilities are cyclical and not into -- -- 33 days in congress -- an.
It in what happened initially Cairo was was not sufficiently robust when President Obama picked up the phone.
And spoke to took president -- Right away things changed and that's an evidence of our influence and our and our impact.
And what happened was that the authorities in Egypt have been very robust and protecting our facilities not just in Cairo but elsewhere in the country.
President -- -- has issued repeated condemnations.
Of the violent response and called for -- and we seen the same thing in Yemen.
In Tunisia and many of my -- -- asking all non governmental personnel to leave Sudan.
And -- well first of all we're not asking all non governmental personnel we'll have all -- nonessential government Oprah's.
We have done an honest selective basis where we assess that the security conditions necessitate.
Is to temporarily.
Have family members and nonessential personnel depart the country that's something we do all over the world.
When circuit security circumstances warrant is short term it's temporary and is prudent and we do it Chris because.
We obviously prioritize -- president has been very clear his number one priority is a protection of American personnel and facilities and we're turning the corner here well Chris I think first of all we have seen in the past.
And and and and unfortunately violent outrage which is condemning the bowl and never justified.
In -- and TV a -- in other circumstances.
There's no predicting exactly.
What the trajectory of this is obviously the last couple of days have been somewhat better.
But we're very vigilant and we are of the view that this is not an expression.
Of hostility and in the broadest sense towards United States.
Or US policy is approximately a reaction to this video in and -- I'd -- hateful video that had nothing to do with the United States.
And at which we find disgusting and reprehensible.
You talk about our influence and impact in the region are closest ally in the region Israel.
Clearly doesn't feel that we are supporting them when it comes to confronting Iran in fact.
This past week prime minister Netanyahu blasted the US for its failure to.
-- the same rat lines as he house in terms of stopping Iran's nuclear program let's walk for the prime minister -- -- Okay.
We -- watch.
When you do win.
Though -- -- and community who refuse food.
It's really lives before and wrong.
Wrong but please don't really look forward.
And when nothing Yahoo! requested a meeting the president said he.
Was too busy to meet with let me address is that -- just ask the questions I had I'm sorry got.
Well no I -- -- I've they'll be a question mark at the end is that how we treat our best friend in the region.
Well let me answer that question in three parts first of all the overall relationship with -- Israel as prime minister Netanyahu and and defense mr.
-- have repeatedly said.
The intelligence and security relationship between the United States and Israel at present is unprecedented.
It has never been stronger.
That's knows -- they awards so that's the overall nature of our relationship.
Very strong stronger than ever secondly with respect to Iran.
The United States President Obama has been absolutely crystal clear.
The United States will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapon and we will do what it takes to prevent that from happening.
All options remain on the -- president has been very clear about that and that includes a military option.
This is not a policy of containment Chris has -- president has repeatedly said it's a policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon that is the bottom line of credit.
If prime minister prefers to call the Red Line that's the bottom line.
And we have also said and I think we are in constant communication with Israeli.
Security intelligence and policy officials.
There we still think that there is time.
Through economic pressure which is unprecedented as well.
The -- economy is now shrinking.
By 1% near its oil production is down 40% -- currency has plummeted 40% just in the last several months as sanctions have gone into fullest effect.
We think there's still time and space for that pressure.
To -- -- result.
The bottom line Chris is the only way to permanently.
And -- -- nuclear program is if it decides to give that program up now the most solemn decision.
That a president can ever take is the decision to go to war.
And president Obama's view is we will do what it takes but before we resort to.
The use of force let -- be sure -- we have exhausted other means including sanctions pressure and diplomacy to ensure that Iran.
Fully and then finally gives up its nuclear weapons.
Let's talk in the coming -- looked about the about the visits I'm I would well like -- I know we have limited time unhappy if you wanted to do so well let me just well -- that I knew that was the third when I wanna -- As you know the president we have reported the president is coming up to the general assembly in New York the United Nations.
He'll be there and the beginning of the week Monday and Tuesday prime minister Netanyahu.
Is coming toward the end of the week they're schedules don't match there's no opportunity for them to meet in the.
Minister would be willing I'm sure to go and in fact there's adjustments from the Israelis to go to Washington apartment so yeah.
And I didn't and watch that Democrats actually -- -- what you want what you just said he said.
That countries that don't set red lines don't have the moral authority to put red lights on Israel that doesn't sound like happy ally.
Well and -- source of all it.
We are very close partners and friends and always will be that is an enduring aspect of the US Israeli relationship commodity and why the president is well prime minister Netanyahu in the middle of the night because they are friends and when friends are -- need to say something to each other they pick up the phone and talk.
And they talked for an hour it was a good conversation.
And it's it's in the nature of our relationship that these two partners speak to one another regularly.
We have no daylight between us on the issue of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon that is our clear bottom line and the president could not be.
Any -- about it.
Let's talk about the attack on the US consulate and Ben Ghazi this week that killed four Americans including.
Ambassador Chris deepens the top Libyan official now says that the attack on that consulate on Tuesday was quote his words -- plan.
Al-Qaeda says the operation was revenge.
For our killing a top al-Qaeda leader what -- we down.
-- -- -- -- we're obviously am investigating this very closely the FBI is is has a lead in this investigation.
The information the best information -- the best assessment we have today.
Is that in fact this was not in pre planned premeditated.
That what happened initially was it it was a spontaneous.
Reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo.
It as a consequence of the video.
-- people gathered outside the embassy and then it's it grew very violent those with extremist ties.
Join the fray and came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are quite common in in post revolutionary.
Libya and and that then spun out of control but we don't see at this point.
Signs that this was a coordinated plan premeditated attack obviously we'll wait for the results of the investigation.
And we don't want to jump to conclusions before -- but I do think it's important for the American people to know our best current assessment.
All right and the last question terror cells and then Gaza.
Had carried out five attacks since April including one at this same -- -- -- bombing.
At this same consulate in June.
Should the US security have been tighter app that consulate given the history of terror activity in -- -- But we obviously did have a strong security presence and unfortunately two of the four.
Americans who died in Ben -- -- they -- to provide security.
But it obviously wasn't sufficient.
In the circumstances to prevent.
The be overrun of the of the consulate this is among the things that obviously will be.
The looked at as -- investigation unfolds and it's also why.
-- nobody really -- what could have been stronger than before it's also why we've reinforced our presence our security presence in Tripoli in the aftermath of this as well as in other parts of the world.
I can't judge that Chris and I will -- to see what the assessment reveals.
But obviously there was a significant security presence defending our consulate and our other facility in.
And Ben Ghazi.
And that did not prove sufficient to the moment.
Ambassador rice what -- -- so much for coming in today and discussing the fast moving developments.
In that part of the world thank.