Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hillary News & Views 9.10: The Iran Deal

Today's Hillary News & Views focuses soley on Clinton's speech on the Iran Deal, given at the Brookings Institute yesterday in Washington D.C.

The Guardian reports:
Hillary Clinton offered her most robust endorsement yet of the nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration between Iran and six world powers.
Clinton said the US faces a choice to either “move forward on a path to diplomacy or turn down more dangerous path leading to a far less certain and riskier future”.
The former secretary of state said the deal “blocks every pathway for Iran to get a bomb” and that it was “unrealistic” to get a better deal, as some opponents claimed was possible.
However, Clinton maintained her distrust for the Iranian regime. “I too am deeply concerned about Iranian aggression and need to confront it,” she said. “There is absolutely no reason to trust Iran.” Instead, she insisted her approach to dealing with Iran’s nuclear program would be “distrust but verify”.
Clinton’s disdain for the Iranian government was evident when she dismissed the Islamic Republic’s cooperation with the US in the nuclear deal. “I don’t see Iran as our partner in implementing the agreement,” she said. “I see Iran as our subject in implementing the agreement.”
The Huffington Post reports:
Clinton came out early in support of the nuclear deal struck between Iran, the U.S. and five world powers in July, and helped pave the way for the negotiations herself while serving as secretary of state. 
But Wednesday’s address...was her first substantive explanation of how she would manage “the day after” the nuclear agreement if she were to become commander-in-chief.
“By now, the outcome of the deal in Congress is no longer in much doubt,” Clinton said. “So we’ve got to start looking ahead to what comes next: enforcing it, deterring Iran and its proxies, and strengthening our allies.”  
Clinton echoed the Obama administration’s pledges that the U.S. will continue to ensure that Israel’s military capabilities are superior to those of others in the region...
"We need to be clear-eyed about what we can expect from Iran,” she said. “This isn’t the start of some broader diplomatic opening.  And we shouldn’t expect that this deal will lead to a broader change in their behavior.”
In addition to boosting aid to Israel, Clinton called for increased cooperation with U.S. allies in the Gulf to counter Iran’s ability to back militant proxy groups in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and the occupied Palestinian territories. Critics and cautious supporters of the nuclear accord have both warned that at least some of the cash bound for Iran as a result of sanctions relief will go to arming its proxies.
Clinton zeroed in on cutting off Iran’s ability to fund and arm Hezbollah, the proxy in Lebanon that has been fighting alongside President Bashar al Assad in Syria. Her speech also called on U.S. allies to block Iranian planes from entering Syria. In addition, she recommended increasing the U.S. military presence in the Middle East as part of a broader effort to ensure that the Strait of Hormuz, a main passageway for the flow of international oil off the coast of Iran, remains open.
Videoclips, tweets, and more quotes and analysis of the speech after the jump.

The Boston Herald reports, via the AP,  that Clinton's primary targets for the speech are skeptics of the deal, and also reveal how Clinton's been working closely with the Obama administration on this issue:
"We should anticipate that Iran will test the next president," she told a Washington think-tank. "They'll want to see how far they can bend the rules."
The Democratic presidential contender and former secretary of state said: "That won't work if I'm in the White House. I'll hold the line against Iranian noncompliance."
But much of the responsibility for enacting the agreement will fall on the next administration, making the issue likely to linger in the presidential campaign. The deal would require Iran to limit its nuclear program for at least a decade in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.
In her remarks, Clinton attempted to reassure skeptics by threatening serious penalties for violations, including possible military action. She offered strong support for Israel, whose leaders strongly oppose the agreement, promising that if elected she would invite the country's prime minister to the White House during her first month in office.
"The Iranians and the world need to understand that we will act decisively if we need to," she said. "As president, I will take whatever actions are necessary to protect the United States and its allies."
But even as she offered a stern warning to Iran, she stressed that rejecting the deal would lead to international isolation for the U.S.
"Several Republicans boast they'll tear up this agreement in 2017," she said. "That's not leadership, that's recklessness."
As secretary of state, Clinton helped facilitate the talks that eventually led to the nuclear deal. She sent a top adviser to participate in secret meetings with Iran through the sultan of Oman that started the international negotiations.
Since then, she's largely backed the negotiations, staying current with the talks with regular briefings from administration officials, according to aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss private meetings publicly.
Some highlights of the speech have been posted by the Brookings Institution.

"Iran Nuclear Deal a Strong Agreement"

"Iran gets everything it wants if we reject nuclear agreement"

"Five Pillars of My Iran Strategy"

"Iran nuclear deal not start of larger diplomatic opening"

"The Iran nuclear deal makes Israel safer"

"Appalled by GOP Senators' letter to Iran's Ayatollah"

Clinton also used Twitter to both communicate key elements of the speech, and eviscerate the GOP:
Rather than quote any of the many articles contrasting Clinton's support of diplomacy with the Trump/Cruz rally held the same day, I've instead transcribed the above clip, where Clinton articulates the negative impact of their demagoguery:
I respect differences of opinion, and people who advocate vigorously for their beliefs.
But I have a harder time respecting those who approach an issue as serious as this with unserious talk, especially anyone running to be President of the United States.
Several Republican candidates boast they'll tear up this agreement in 2017, more than a year after it's been implemented.
That's not leadership. That's recklessness.
It would set us right down the dangerous path we've worked so hard to avoid.
I'm looking forward to a robust debate about foreign policy in this campaign.
Where we have disagreements, we should lay them out.
Like if American ground forces in Iraq should engage in direct combat, as Scott Walker wants.
Or if we should keep Cuba closed, as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush want.
Let's debate these issues.
But let's debate them on the basis of facts, not fear.
Let's resist denigrating the patriotism or loyalty of those who disagree with us.
And let's avoid at all costs undermining America's credibility abroad.
That only makes us weaker, and I'm going to call it out whenever I see it.

For more on Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency, check out…  

The Hillary 2016 Platform Series

Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform  
Part 2: Immigration Reform  
Part 3: Voting Rights  

Unfiltered Hillary: The Transcripts
September 4, 2015: MSNBC Interview with Andrea Mitchell
August 14, 2015: Iowa Wing Ding Dinner
July 31, 2015: National Urban League
July 20, 2015: Facebook Q&A
July 17, 2015: Iowa State Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner
23, 2015: Women in the World Summit

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