In a speech yesterday to the American Jewish Congress, Hillary Clinton said that “the odds of reaching [a comprehensive nuclear] agreement [with Iran] are not good.” Going further, Clinton declared herself “personally skeptical that the Iranians would follow through and deliver” if an agreement were reached.
At the same time, Clinton said she supports the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran. And she praised John Kerry’s efforts. Clinton believes that the U.S. should “give space of diplomacy to work” and should not impose new unilateral sanctions on Iran. She is nothing if not cliche-ridden.
Clinton’s position seems incoherent. If she doubts that Iran would adhere to a nuclear agreement, what’s the point of Kerry negotiating one? And if she doubts that Iran will even enter into a comprehensive agreement, what was the point of Obama and Kerry loosening the sanctions regime in the absence of a comprehensive agreement?
Clinton says that if negotiations with Iran fail, “every other option” should “remain on the table.” She is nothing if not cliche-ridden.
But one option, the only meaningful one Obama-Clinton-Kerry have ever shown the stomach for, probably is already off the table. The international sanctions regime is likely to crumble thanks to the posture of the Obama administration whose approach Clinton stands behind.
It’s foolish, though, to look for coherence in what was a political address by a potential presidential candidate. Clinton was trying to make her Jewish audience happy without burning any bridges with Team Obama.
The problem is that no good reason exists to believe that Clinton’s thinking on this issue, or any other important foreign policy matter, extends beyond the incoherent, cliche-ridden opportunism she spouted yesterday. If you don’t believe me, check out the picture of her hitting the Russia reset button.