Search This Blog

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Clinton Advisors Advocating Tougher Line on Iran

Advisors to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are articulating policies that suggest that a Clinton administration will adopt a tougher line towards Iran, Eli Lake of Bloomberg View reported Wednesday.
Lake’s report focuses mostly on former acting CIA director Michael Morell, who said in a speech earlier this week that the United States is “back and we’re going to lead again.” Morell, who is expected to receive a high-level appointment in a future Clinton administration, added that the United States should consider new sanctions against Iran to fight its “malign behavior in the region.” Obama, in contrast, has urged Congress not to pass any new sanctions against Iran.
Morell also raised the possibility of U.S. naval forces boarding Iranian ships heading to Yemen to arm rebels there: “I would have no problem from a policy perspective of having the U.S. Navy boarding their ships and if there are weapons on them to turn those ships around,” he said, though he later acknowledged that this could be questionable under international law.
As part of a broader strategy to counter Iran’s growing strength, Morell urged American allies in the Middle East to fight jihadist ideology and reform corrupt governments. Lake contrasted this with Obama, whose “policy for reassuring these allies has been a new suite of arms sales—without a new policy framework to counter Iranian influence.”
Morell’s  approach, according to Lake, aligns with that of Clinton foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan, who told the Truman Security Project in June that “We need to be raising the costs to Iran for its destabilizing behavior and we need to be raising the confidence of our Sunni partners.”
The Morell talk was presented at the Center for American Progress, which was founded by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and is currently run by the policy director of the 2008 Clinton campaign. In a report released earlier this week outlining Middle East policy options, the Center for American Progress acknowledged that last year’s nuclear deal with Iran “does not make Iran a regional partner for the United States” and that “Iran continues to pose a threat to U.S. interests and values in the Middle East and around the world.”
Lake surmised that the views expressed by Clinton’s advisors and confidants suggest that if she wins the presidency in two weeks, she will ” she will be taking on … Iranian aggression abroad.”
Lake reported earlier this month, based on documents released by WikiLeaks, that in 2013 Clinton expressed doubts that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was truly a “moderate,” as he was portrayed in the media, and dismissed his apparent moderation as a “charm offensive” intended to deceive the West. Additionally, Lake noted that leaked e-mails from last December showed Clinton to be more receptive to critics of the nuclear deal than the Obama administration has been.
In a major speech at the Brookings Institution in September 2015, Clinton laid out five pillars of her foreign policy, including an “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s military security;” defending America’s Persian Gulf allies; building multinational coalitions to battle Iran’s proxies and enforce embargoes on Iranian arms shipments; taking a strong stand against Iran’s humans rights abuses; and adopting a “comprehensive regional strategy that promotes stability and counters extremism.” Clinton added in the speech that she would downplay disagreements with Israel and invite the Israeli prime minister to Washington during her first month in office.
In another talk at Brookings three months later, Clinton said that Israel was an essential ally in countering “Iran’s increasing aggressive regional ambitions.”
[Photo: CBS This Morning / YouTube ]

No comments:

Post a Comment