Appearing on ABC's This Week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel may strike pre-emptively against Iran's nuclear facilities should Israel feel threatened. She also warned of 'massive retaliation' should Iran attack Israel, supposedly the repetition of a position she advocated as a Presidential candidate last year. But if you watch what she says, you'll see that what she's actually threatening is an Israeli retaliation and not an American one.
As President Obama extends “an open hand”, seeking direct talks with Tehran in his attempt to halt its nuclear programme, Mrs Clinton appeared ready to unnerve the Iranian leadership with talk of a pre-emptive strike “the way that we did attack Iraq”. She said that she was trying to put herself in the shoes of the Iranian leadership, but added that Tehran “might have some other enemies that would do that [deliver a pre-emptive strike] to them”. It was a clear reference to Israel, where Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, has talked about the possibility of military action to halt Iran’s nuclear programme — something he views as a threat to the Jewish state.
Mrs Clinton, interviewed on the ABC programme This Week a year after she conceded to Mr Obama in the Democratic primary race, said that it was US policy that a nuclear attack by Iran on Israel would be seen as an attack on the US.
“I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that were Israel to suffer a nuclear attack by Iran, there would be retaliation,” she said, though she did not spell out who would retaliate. She was responding to a question about her statement as a presidential candidate last year, when she said Iran would “incur massive retaliation from the United States” if it attacked Israel.
Yesterday she said: “Part of what we have to make clear to the Iranians is that their pursuit of nuclear weapons will actually trigger greater insecurity.” She noted that Israel and Arab states were “deeply concerned about Iran having nuclear weapons”.
She added: “So, does Iran want to face a battery of nuclear countries?”
ABC claims out that although Clinton took the position during the campaign that the US should retaliate against Iran if it attacks Israel, this is the first time she said it as Secretary of State.
In her first Sunday show interview since becoming secretary of state, Hillary Clinton said it is "US policy" to treat an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel as an attack on the United States.
This echoed statements from Clinton's presidential campaign in which she proposed that an Iranian attack on Israel would provoke "massive retaliation" and a U.S. response that "would be able to totally obliterate" Iran.
It also echoes Clinton's special envoy for Iran, Dennis Ross, who suggested in his new book, "Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East," extending the U.S. nuclear security umbrella to Israel would strengthen the U.S. hand in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.
But it's the first time Clinton has made such a declaration in her official role as secretary of state, and the first time extending America's nuclear umbrella to Israel has been publicly declared U.S. policy by the Obama Administration.
But if you watch the interview, Clinton is not saying that the US will retaliate. What she is saying is that Iran had better be careful of an Israeli pre-emptive strike, and that Israel - not the US - is likely to retaliate if Iran strikes first. So the Obama administration is not taking the position that Hillary Clinton took during her campaign.
Israel and its supporters should be deeply concerned by what Mrs. Clinton says in this tape and by how it's being portrayed in the media. It's yet another step in the US's abandonment of its alliance with Israel.
In: Iraq, Iran, News, Middle East
Tags: Israel, Iran, United States, Clinton, nuclear, retaliation, pre-emptive attack
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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