Kerry Sails Through Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State nominee John Kerry testified at his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. He pledged to prevent Iran from securing nuclear weapons and urged Congress to work out its issues over the federal budget.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Dealing with al-Qaida franchises will be a challenge for President Obama's new foreign policy team. Senator John Kerry is the nominee for Secretary of State and so wants to part of that team and yesterday he faced a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which, in recent years, he has lead.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Kerry spoke of a very real threat posed by the growing strength of al-Qaida in North and West Africa. His testimony served as a reminder, though, that it's just one of many concerns from climate change to the war in Syria to Iran.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY: The president has made it definitive. We will do what we must do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and I repeat here today, our policy is not containment. It is prevention.

INSKEEP: Kerry also defended the president's choice for another position. He told the committee that former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel would be a strong Secretary of Defense.

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