Hillary Clinton issued a lengthy statement tonight not only giving props to the Iran nuclear deal but also basically taking credit for it.
“I am still studying the details, but based on the briefings I received and a review of the documents, I support the agreement because it can help us prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. With vigorous enforcement, unyielding verification, and swift consequences for any violations, this agreement can make the United States, Israel, and our Arab partners safer,” Clinton said.
“…Today’s agreement is the culmination of a sustained strategy of pressure and engagement executed over many years. As secretary of State, I logged tens of thousands of miles and twisted a lot of arms to build a global coalition to impose the most crippling sanctions in history. That unprecedented pressure delivered a blow to Iran’s economy and gave us leverage at the negotiating table, starting in Oman in 2012. I know from experience what it took to build a global effort to get this done; I know what it will take to rally our partners to enforce it.”
As president, Clinton said, she would “use every tool in our arsenal to compel rigorous Iranian compliance.”
“We can never permit Iran to evade its obligations or to place any suspicious site off limits to inspectors,” she said. “And the response to any cheating must be immediate and decisive – starting with the return of sanctions but taking no options off the table, including, if necessary, our military options.”
Jake Sullivan, a deputy policy director on Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign who went on to serve as her deputy chief of staff at the State Department and then director of policy planning, “spent months secretly laying the groundwork” for the current Iran nuclear negotiations and is believed to be Clinton’s pick for national security advisor.
Like President Obama, Clinton acknowledged that Iran still poses a threat to Israel, supports terrorists like Hamas and Hezbollah and is developing missiles that can take out all of its neighbors. Unlike Obama today, she acknowledged “U.S. citizens being held in Iranian prisons” who must be returned.
“Israel has to be confident that the United States will always ensure its Qualitative Military Edge in the region and its capacity to defend itself by itself. As president, I would invite the senior Israeli leadership to Washington for early talks on further strengthening our alliance. We must also deepen our security relationship with our Arab partners threatened by Iran. This includes our continued presence and providing needed capabilities. Iran should have no doubt about our support for the security of our partners,” Clinton said.
“I know that there are people of good faith who oppose this deal – people I respect. They raise concerns that have to be taken seriously. They are right to call for extreme vigilance. I am as familiar with Iranian behavior and the need to confront it as anyone. I support this agreement because I believe it is the most effective path of all the alternatives available to the U.S. and our partners to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Clinton was up on the Hill this morning, with D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) quickly saying after a caucus meeting that Clinton convinced her to support the deal.
“For example, it was Secretary Clinton who put together the coalition, including China and Russia, which led to the unity that makes this agreement so strong, and in my judgment, difficult to refute or oppose,” Norton said. “During the question period, I asked Secretary Clinton about the anticipated opposition to the nuclear deal and how it should be handled. I told her I thought the deal would be difficult to attack head-on considering its air-tight qualities, such as continuous international monitoring of Iraq’s nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency, daily access to all facilities, including military facilities, among others.”
Clinton’s primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said he welcomed her to the caucus meeting “but there are differences of opinion that we have which should be the basis for a serious discussion.”