This morning, Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a highly anticipated speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. After being introduced by Brookings president Strobe Talbott, she voiced her support for the agreement between the United States and Iran, and took a strong stance on enforcement of the oversight introduced by the agreement and ensuring that Iran does not break the agreement. The key to ensuring safety in the region is limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities and ensuring oversight by the IAEA. Clinton’s primary focus was a continuing diplomatic approach to Iran, but she did not rule out a stronger response if Iran broke the agreement.
Clinton did not shy away from her skepticism of Iran and understands why many world leaders and politicians are skeptical as well. But a lot of work has gone in to getting Iran to the negotiating table and, while the agreement may not be perfect, it is a start. She addressed her success as Secretary of State of putting together a global sanctions package against Iran. As a result, many countries cut back its use of Iranian oil and cut off financial ties. This was successful because it was global, and the sanctions persuaded Iran to come to the negotiating table that ultimately led to this agreement.
Clinton admitted several times that the agreement isn’t perfect, and that continued work and strong enforcement are necessary to make it better over time. But it is better to have the oversight the agreement provides. It is up to the United States to ensure the deal is enforced by the global community. As president, she said that her strategy with Iran would be “distrust and verify,” and that if they cheated the deal, the United States and the world would respond swiftly and with strength.
She voiced her support for Israel and her understanding for the skepticism that has been voiced by Israeli leaders. As president, she would strongly support Israel, and ensuring the security of Israel is one of the primary pillars of Clinton’s foreign policy plan. She’s confident that Israel will be safer with this deal, and the oversight of Iran’s nuclear program, then without it.
Following her address, Clinton had a brief conversation with Martin Indyk, executive vice president of Brookings, in which she went in to more detail about the agreement and how to go about implementing it. The floor was then opened to the audience to ask questions. The full video from the event is above.