Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration’s commitment to the security of Israel has been “extraordinary” despite “press coverage.”
Clinton, a former New York Democratic senator, said the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is solid.
“Forget about the press coverage and the back and forth, if you look at the close cooperation and what this administration and the Congress of the last 6 years has done with respect to Israel’s security it’s quite extraordinary,” Clinton said at the Saban Forum sponsored by the Brookings Institution on Friday.
“The funding of Iron Dome, the funding of other military needs and equipment, the continuing strategic consultations that we’ve been consistently engaged in with Israel. It’s hard to measure what administration did ‘x’ and who did ‘y,’ but nobody can argue with the commitment of this administration to Israel’s security and that has to continue, it has to deepen regardless of the political back and forth,” she added.
When asked about the Israel and Palestinian conflict, Clinton said the two-state solution remains an “essential concept to bring people together around.”
Clinton said a deal that closes all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon is at the center of the negotiations with Iran.
“I remain strongly of the view that no deal is better than a bad deal. I’m also absolutely convinced that the nuclear weapon negotiation is not the only problem that we have with Iran,” Clinton said. “It may be the most important and in many ways the most urgent, but Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, Iran’s support for Assad and the havoc that has reaped, Iran’s obvious support for Hezbollah and the destabilization in part because of the spillover from Syria, the continuing pressure on providing arms to Hamas and so much else.”
Clinton also addressed the potential impact decreasing oil prices are having on Iran and Russia.
“The increase in supply on the international market and the decrease in price has the potential to dramatically reshape strategic and economic relationships. I believe that we don’t yet know how this will play out,” she said. “It appears that the drop in oil prices is having an increasing impact of pressure on Iran, which may on the margins at least give us more of an opportunity to get to the kind of deal I was talking about. We certainly believe that the decrease in price is having an impact inside Russia and some of the decisions that Putin is going to have to make.”
Clinton called the increase in domestic production in the U.S. good news.
“However, the cost of extracting oil and gas in the United States is more expensive than it is getting it out of the ground in Saudi Arabia and other producers, so some think that our good friends in the Gulf are driving down and keeping the price down in order to begin the process of limiting production in the United States so they don’t have the U.S. surpassing production levels in the Gulf and they don’t have the U.S. being able to use oil and gas to a great extent as a tool of our diplomacy and our economic engagement.,” she said.