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Hillary: US Is ‘Downplaying’ Iran Nuke Threat

A flashback to an article (we noted at the time) from the Democrat Party’s news agency, the Associated Press:

Sen. Clinton Calls for Iran Sanctions

By GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jan 19, 2006

Sen. Hillary Clinton called for United Nations sanctions against Iran and faulted the Bush administration for “downplaying” the threat Tehran’s nuclear program poses.

In an address Wednesday evening at Princeton University, Clinton, D-N.Y., said it was a mistake for the U.S. to have Britain, France and Germany head up nuclear talks with Iran over the past 2 1/2 years. Last week, Iran resumed nuclear research in a move Tehran claims is for energy, not weapons.

“I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and chose to outsource the negotiations,” Clinton said.

Earlier this week, a meeting in London produced no agreement among the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China on whether to refer the dispute over Iranian nuclear enrichment to the Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Russia and China have joined Europe and the U.S. in criticizing Iran’s resumption of uranium enrichment. But both would prefer to avoid Security Council involvement and are outright opposed to sanctions, which are backed by the Bush administration.

While Clinton was critical of the administration, she never mentioned the president by name and did not engage in the same sort of sharp rhetorical attack against him or other Republicans as she did earlier this week…

Clinton spoke Wednesday to some 800 Princeton students, staff and alumni at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

And we got the same tune from the DNC’s house organ, the Washington Post:

Sen. Clinton Urges U.N. Sanctions Against Iran

By Dan Balz
Friday, January 20, 2006; A06

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) accused the Bush administration of playing down the threat of a nuclear Iran and called for swift action at the United Nations to impose sanctions on the Iranian government.

The senator’s statements, in which she said the administration should make it clear that all options remain on the table for dealing with the Iranians, came during a speech about the Middle East on Wednesday night at Princeton University. She criticized the White House for turning the problem over to European nations and said Iran must never be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

“I believe we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations,” Clinton said. “I don’t believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines.”

Clinton’s call for sanctions was another example of the hawkish posture on national security issues that has marked her tenure in the Senate and is seen as part of her preparation for a possible 2008 presidential campaign. On Iraq, she has often criticized the administration for not preparing for the chaos and violence after the initial invasion. But she has remained steadfast in resisting calls within her own party to support a rapid withdrawal of troops there, to the dismay of some on the left.

Clinton was not the only possible 2008 Democratic presidential candidate to issue a get-tough warning over Iran. Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) said yesterday that he plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate calling on the administration to work with the United Nations to sanction the country. Bayh said the sanctions should include shutting off supplies of refined gasoline, a worldwide ban on arms sales, and a possible ban on participation in the Olympics and the World Cup soccer tournament.

The Indiana senator blamed the administration for allowing the situation to become a crisis. “We should never have arrived at this juncture,” Bayh said in a statement. “During his State of the Union speech in 2002, President Bush famously called Iran part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ but then followed that up by ignoring and then largely deferring management of this crisis to the Europeans. This approach has certainly been damaging to our national security.”

Clinton has pressed the administration over Iran in the past. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared last month that the Holocaust was “a myth,” she sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging that the United States take the lead in delivering an unambiguous condemnation of him.

At Princeton, Clinton said that a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the state of Israel and that U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. To prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, she said, “we must have more support vigorously and publicly expressed by China and Russia, and we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations.”

And here is a more recent example of Mrs. Clinton’s unbridled bellicosity towards innocent Iran, also from the Associated Press:

New York Sen. Clinton Says Iran a Threat

New York Sen. Clinton Calls Iran a Threat to U.S., One of Israel’s Greatest Dangers


Feb 2, 2007

NEW YORK – Calling Iran a danger to the U.S. and one of Israel’s greatest threats, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said “no option can be taken off the table” when dealing with that nation

Clinton, D-N.Y., spoke at a Manhattan dinner held by the nation’s largest pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons,” Clinton told the audience. “In dealing with this threat … no option can be taken off the table.”

Iran insists its nuclear program is designed to produce energy, not weapons. Ahmadinejad said Thursday that his government is determined to continue with its nuclear program, despite U.N. Security Council sanctions imposed over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel to generate electricity or for the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

Clinton called for dialogue with foes of the United States, saying Iran “uses its influence and its revenues in the region to support terrorist elements.”

“We need to use every tool at our disposal, including diplomatic and economic in addition to the threat and use of military force,” she said.

And even more recently, we have Mrs. Bill Clinton’s magnum opus on foreign policy (which we also noted) from the current issue of the prestigious (to some) magazine, Foreign Affairs:

Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century

By Hillary Rodham Clinton

From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2007

… The Bush administration has opposed talks with our adversaries, seeming to believe that we are not strong enough to defend our interests through negotiations. This is a misleading and counterproductive strategy. True statesmanship requires that we engage with our adversaries, not for the sake of talking but because robust diplomacy is a prerequisite to achieving our aims.

The case in point is Iran. Iran poses a long-term strategic challenge to the United States, our NATO allies, and Israel. It is the country that most practices state-sponsored terrorism, and it uses its surrogates to supply explosives that kill U.S. troops in Iraq. The Bush administration refuses to talk to Iran about its nuclear program, preferring to ignore bad behavior rather than challenge it. Meanwhile, Iran has enhanced its nuclear-enrichment capabilities, armed Iraqi Shiite militias, funneled arms to Hezbollah, and subsidized Hamas, even as the government continues to hurt its own citizens by mismanaging the economy and increasing political and social repression.

As a result, we have lost precious time. Iran must conform to its nonproliferation obligations and must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran does not comply with its own commitments and the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table.

On the other hand, if Iran is in fact willing to end its nuclear weapons program, renounce sponsorship of terrorism, support Middle East peace, and play a constructive role in stabilizing Iraq, the United States should be prepared to offer Iran a carefully calibrated package of incentives. This will let the Iranian people know that our quarrel is not with them but with their government and show the world that the United States is prepared to pursue every diplomatic option.

Like Iran, North Korea responded to the Bush administration’s effort to isolate it by accelerating its nuclear program, conducting a nuclear test, and building more nuclear weapons. Only since the State Department returned to diplomacy have we been able, belatedly, to make progress.

Neither North Korea nor Iran will change course as a result of what we do with our own nuclear weapons, but taking dramatic steps to reduce our nuclear arsenal would build support for the coalitions we need to address the threat of nuclear proliferation and help the United States regain the moral high ground

To reassert our nonproliferation leadership, I will seek to negotiate an accord that substantially and verifiably reduces the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. This dramatic initiative would send a strong message of nuclear restraint to the world, while we retain enough strength to deter others from trying to match our arsenal. I will also seek Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by 2009, the tenth anniversary of the Senate’s initial rejection of the agreement. This would enhance the United States’ credibility when demanding that other nations refrain from testing. As president, I will support efforts to supplement the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

Lest we forget.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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