Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bernie Praises Hillary on Iran Nuclear Deal

Senator Bernie Sanders came out in support of the Iran nuclear deal. That's good.

What's also good is that he gave some credit where it was due.
Mr. Sanders, in a statement, gave credit to Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for achieving the deal. Asked if Hillary Rodham Clinton, who started the process as secretary of state and is Mr. Sanders’s main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, deserved credit, he said: “Sure. A lot of people were involved. As secretary of state, she played a role and an important role, and I credit her.”
True, a lot of people were involved. However, a sleeper issue in the coming months of the campaign will surely be Clinton's central role in bringing about this historic deal. This process was covered extensively in Hard Choices and discussed in this May 2014 speech to the American Jewish Committee (Note: there's more video from this speech at the link):

The former top diplomat left no doubt that she intends to claim credit for more foreign policy accomplishments than her critics are prepared to concede. In 2008, she recalled, many believed Iran was "on the rise" -- its regional rival Iraq had been incapacitated by the 2003 U.S. invasion, and oil exports were booming.
To arrest that rise, Clinton said, she and the president decided to "tear up the old playbook and devise a new strategy."
"We decided to use both engagement and pressure to present Iran's leaders with a hard choice of their own: comply and reap the benefits of improved relations or refuse and face increased isolation and ever more painful consequences," she said. "We believed that the effort of seeking engagement would actually strengthen our hand if Iran rejected our initiatives. The rest of the world would see that the Iranians were the intransigent ones, not us."
"That is more or less what happened," she explained, saying Iran's rejection of U.S. overtures allowed the U.S. to persuade the United Nations Security Council to impose "some of the toughest multilateral sanctions ever on record."
"I worked for months to round up the votes," she said.
Paired with even more stringent U.S. sanctions, the international effort began to hammer Iran's economy, Clinton explained, strengthening the hand of more accommodating parties in Iran. With the election of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Iranians were back at the bargaining table, she said, where they're currently enmeshed in talks with Clinton's successor as secretary of state, John Kerry.
Clinton emphasized to the staunchly pro-Israel organization that she remains "skeptical" Iran will follow through on its obligations, but "nonetheless, this is a promising development, and we need to test it."
"No deal is better than a bad deal," she said. "The next months will be telling."
Though the months turned into year (and change), the hard work paid off and results were indeed telling: We got a good deal that is a clear and preferable alternative to yet another devastating war in the Middle East.

Thank you, Secretary Clinton.

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