Condoleezza Rice: We cannot sanction military rule in Egypt

(CBS News) Amid the possibility for new clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addressed the mounting tensions in a wide-ranging interview with Charlie Rose.

"Whether you call it a coup or not, the military's intervention was a dark day for Egypt," Rice said, adding, "We cannot sanction what the military did," she added, "We have to recognize that we are where we are in Egypt and try to move forward"

Still, Rice -- and current leaders -- have stopped short of calling the overthrow a coup, because as Rice said, "I know that when people start labeling without the next sentence, that they are not reflecting the complexity of the situation."

If the United States government labels the change in power as a coup, it could limit the amount of aid the U.S. could continue to give to Egypt.

"I will wait to see whether the Egyptian military lives up to its promise to return as quickly as possible to civilian leadership. If it does that, then whatever we have labeled it will have been a step in the right direction," Rice said. "I hope that what Gen. Dempsey and others are saying to the Egyptian military is professional militaries don't do this. Get out of the presidential palace, return this to civilian government, or you will not have a relationship with the United States of America."

Turning to Iran, Rice was restrained in her hopes for progress and a more moderate regime under Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani, who has publicly expressed a need for liberalization in his country.

"In Iran, when you talk about being a moderate in Iran, you're talking about a very narrow part of the political spectrum. And [Ayatollah Ali Hosseini] Khamenei is still the power in Iran. I would not begin to believe that this is someone who is gonna immediately begin to change the foreign policy," Rice said, insisting the U.S. remain firm on ramping up sanctions against Iran.

"Absolutely, we continue to move the sanctions forward. When it looks as if the Iranians are responding to the new environment, I would, one by one, begin to release the sanctions. But if you release the pressure now in the hopes that Rouhani is going to be a different kind of Iranian, you're going to remove the very pressures that may be leading to changes in the way that Iran thinks about its prospects," she told Rose.

Rice also called out President Obama for not moving to arm the rebels in Syria earlier and said given the current, chaotic landscape in Syria, it may be too late to effectively intervene. She said it would be difficult to arm the rebels without the arms falling into the hands of Islamic extremists.

"It's going to be very hard," Rice said, "But you don't have any other option at this point."

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