Thursday, January 19, 2006

I think Hillary Clinton playing politics with Iran.

Politics: Still more investigating to be done. The Owls are on the case.

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Sen. Hillary Clinton called for United Nations sanctions against Iran as it resumes its nuclear program and faulted the Bush administration for "downplaying" the threat. 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.
But Hillary Clinton in 2004 at Tufts University's 2004 Fares Lecture
Senator Clinton on Iran Similarly, with respect to Iran, we have to accept the fact that Iran resembles the place that many in the administration believed Iraq was. A nation ruled by a regime that partners with terrorists, and a land in active pursuit of nuclear weapons. And this time the weapons of mass destruction and the threat they pose are very real. A nuclear armed Iran would shake the foundations of global security like a 7.0 earthquake. No country in the region would feel more secure because of it. Obviously Israel would be most immediately and profoundly threatened by such a development, but they would not be alone in feeling insecure. Knowing of Iran’s historic ties to terrorist networks, we here in the United States, as well as our friends in the region, and even in Europe, would have to be deeply concerned by the ability of the Iranians to produce nuclear weapons at will. With so much at stake we should be more active in support of the European dialogue with Iran. There is no substitute for active engagement when the stakes are so high. I have yet to understand the administration’s attitude toward regimes with which we have such serious and profound differences as North Korea or Iran. They seem to believe that by ignoring, by refusing to even discuss any potential moves that would take us out of the impasses that have been developed, that they would fail to keep faith with some fundamental principles. Throughout the Cold War we met regularly with the Soviet Union. They had leaders who said they were going to bury us. They had nuclear weapons pointed at all of our cities. Every president engaged with the leadership in the Kremlin. It is time for this administration to be more actively engaged in a dialogue with the Iranians. We need to impress upon the Iranians the strongly adverse consequences for them, if they continue along the path of nuclear proliferation. Obviously if they become engaged and we can move toward some understanding about what their legitimate energy needs might be, as hard as it is to quite understand that, if they were to be willing to renounce any further development of nuclear weapons, there would be prospects for a more positive future. We must be mindful that discussion doesn’t become a diplomatic cover for continued Iranian efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. There have to be checks and balances in the process. But I see no realistic short term alternative, other than to work collaboratively with our allies, to try to persuade the Iranians to change course.

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