Likely presidential candidate calls Israeli government policies exemplary as she receives lifetime achievement award from American Jewish Congress
Commenting on the ongoing talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations over the nation’s nuclear program and ongoing western sanctions, former Secretary of State and likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a largely pro-Israel crowd on Wednesday that she is “personally skeptical” of Iran’s stated commitments and that, in her eyes, “all options”—including military ones—should be part of U.S. policy towards Tehran if talks fail.
“Let’s be clear,” she said, “every other option does remain on the table.”
Two days of negotiations between Iran, the US, Russia, China, UK, France, and Germany concluded in Vienna on Wednesday with progress, but no final settlement as of yet. Some diplomats leaving the latest round expressed optimism about prospects for a final deal. But Clinton, from her vantage in New York, expressed her continued doubts that diplomatic efforts can succeed.
“The odds of reaching that comprehensive agreement are not good,” Clinton said. “I am also personally skeptical that the Iranians would follow through and deliver. I have seen their behavior over the years. But this is a development that is worth testing.”
According to the Washington Post:
In a 30-minute address at an American Jewish Congress gala — where she was honored with a lifetime achievement award by actress Julianna Margulies and serenaded at the dinner table by Israeli singer Liel Kolet — Clinton presented herself as a tough defender of Israel in the Senate and at the State Department.
“When Americans of all faiths look at Israel, we see a homeland for a people long oppressed and a democracy that has to defend itself at every turn,” Clinton said. “In Israel’s story, we see our own.”
Clinton described in detail her role in shaping the country’s policies with regard to Iran from the earliest days of the Obama administration. This is likely to be a focus of her forthcoming memoir, due out this spring, which she teased in a separate speech earlier Wednesday.
Citing the group’s website, the Associated Press describes the the American Jewish Congress is “an association of Jewish Americans seeking to defend Jewish interests through public policy advocacy, using diplomacy, legislation and the court system.”
Though undeclared, Clinton remains the likely frontrunner as the next presidential candidate for the Democratic party, holding commanding leads in all polling on the subject thus far.
Though she has largely demurred from speculation about her possible candidacy, the publication of her upcoming memoir is expected to begin the groundwork for her positioning.
Long known as a hawk on foreign policy issues, Clinton’s vote in favor of the invasion of Iraq under President George W. Bush is largely credited as the issue that lost her the primary race against then Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, as he cast himself as the anti-war candidate in contrast to her record.