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John Kerry: 'No one should mistake our resolve' on Iran's nuclear program

Sen. John Kerry appeared Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he still chairs, to discuss the foreign policy he would promote as the next secretary of State.

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Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts sits before the committee he has served on for 28 years and led for the past four as he seeks confirmation as the next secretary of State, Thursday, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Sen. John Kerry used his confirmation hearing Thursday to paint an expansive picture of the foreign policy he would promote as the next secretary of State – saying economic development, climate change, and human rights must be as much a part of America’s role in the world as “drones and deployment.”

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he still chairs, Senator Kerry (D) of Massachusetts said, “This really is a time for American leadership.” But, he warned, the US would be unable to continue its “essential” role in the world if it does not first “put its own [fiscal] house in order.”

“We can’t be strong in the world unless we are strong at home,” he said.

Yet even as he emphasized the importance he would place on soft-power issues like development and democracy promotion, Kerry made a point of reiterating President Obama’s commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“Our policy is not containment. It is prevention,” he said, underscoring an issue that could very well dominate the initial months of his presumed tenure at the State Department. “No one should mistake our resolve” to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, he added.

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