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Clinton Is All Over The Map On Iran Sanctions

- January 21, 2015

TODAY, CLINTON STOOD WITH OBAMA'S VETO THREAT AGAINST NEW IRAN SANCTIONS LEGISLATION

When Asked Whether She Would Support New Sanctions Against Iran, Clinton Said, "No. I Take The Position That I Think The President Articulated Last Night." QUESTION: "Would you advocate for those new sanctions?" CLINTON: "No. I take the position that I think the President articulated last night, in part because I was responsible for beginning the negotiations and that was after we had worked together with Canada and other friends to impose very tough sanctions coming out of the UN Security Council and certainly buttressed by American sanctions, Canadian sanctions, EU sanctions." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1/21/15)

  • In His State Of The Union Address, Obama Vowed To Veto "Any New Sanctions Bill" Against Iran. OBAMA: "Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies - including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails - alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn't make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom." (Barack Obama, State Of The Union Address , Washington, D.C., 1/20/15)

"Unhappy With The Current Negotiations, Members Of Congress May Impose New Sanctions On Iran To Urge A More Rapid End To Its Nuclear Program." (Ellie Maruyama, Op-Ed, "Time Clock For Deal With Iran," The Hill, 1/9/15)

  • "Lawmakers Have Completed A New Bipartisan Bill On Iran Sanctions And The Senate Intends To Vote On It…" "The White House and Senate are headed into a battle over whether to increase pressure on Iran. Lawmakers have completed a new bipartisan bill on Iran sanctions and the Senate intends to vote on it well before President Barack Obama's team finishes the current round of international nuclear negotiations." (Josh Rogin, "Congress Moves Against Obama On New Iran Sanctions," Bloomberg View, 1/14/15)

CLINTON HAS A HISTORY OF BLOWING WHICHEVER WAY THE WIND TAKES HER ON IRAN SANCTIONS

Clinton Has Repeatedly Attempted To Take Credit For Iran Sanctions

The Daily Beast Headline: "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop" (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

At A March 2014 Appearance At The American Jewish Congress, Clinton Attempted To Portray Herself "As A Progenitor Of Sanctions" Against Iran. "Hillary Clinton laid out a history of her record at the State Department on Wednesday night, portraying herself as a progenitor of sanctions that led to current nuclear-freeze discussions with Iran - while sounding a hawkish note about whether she thinks Tehran will ultimately make good on the terms of the deal." (Maggie Haberman, "Hillary Clinton Touts Leadership On Iran," Politico, 3/19/14)

  • "Clinton Spent The Bulk Of Her Speech Looking Back On Her And US President Barack Obama's Efforts To Impose Sanctions On Iran During Obama's First Term." (Maya Shwayder, "Hillary Clinton Tells US Jews: Iran Nuclear Talks Should Be Given Chance Before Sanctions," The Jerusalem Post , 3/20/14)
  • Clinton: "It Was Only Because The Entire World Recognized That The US Was Willing To Have A Two-Track Policy Of Engagement And Pressure That We Were Able To Rally All Of The Permanent Five Members Of The UN Security Council [To Impose Sanctions]…" "'It was only because the entire world recognized that the US was willing to have a two-track policy of engagement and pressure that we were able to rally all of the permanent five members of the UN Security Council [to impose sanctions] and convince major consumers to seek other suppliers,' Clinton said, adding that the US hadn't really been a customer of Iranian oil in decades." (Maya Shwayder, "Hillary Clinton Tells US Jews: Iran Nuclear Talks Should Be Given Chance Before Sanctions," The Jerusalem Post , 3/20/14)

While Speaking At The American Jewish Committee In May 2014, Clinton "Portrayed The Multi-Year Effort To Impose Several Increasingly Tough Sanctions Measures Against Iran As Largely Led By The Administration." "Speaking at the American Jewish Committee Wednesday, Clinton said that she and Obama faced a 'hard choice' when deciding to both reach out to Iran and increase the pressure on the Iranian government and economy, a not so subtle pitch for her upcoming memoir 'Hard Choices,' which hits bookstores next month. She portrayed the multi-year effort to impose several increasingly tough sanctions measures against Iran as largely led by the administration." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

  • Clinton: "I Worked For Months To Round Up The Votes. It Reminded Me Of The Backroom Negotiations In The Senate, With All The Horse Trading, Arm Twisting, Vote Counting That Go Into Passing Any Major Legislation." CLINTON: "I worked for months to round up the votes. It reminded me of the backroom negotiations in the Senate, with all the horse trading, arm twisting, vote counting that go into passing any major legislation. In the end, we were successful. After years of division, the international community came together and sent a very strong, unified message to Iran. And then, building on the framework established by the United Nations Security Council, with the help of Congress, the Obama administration imposed some of the most stringent, crippling sanctions on top of the international ones, and so did our European partners. Our goal was to put so much financial pressure on Iran's leaders that they would have no choice but to come back to the negotiating table with a serious offer." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The American Jewish Committee Global Forum, Washington, D.C., 5/14/14)
  • Clinton: "In The End, We Were Successful. …The Obama Administration Imposed Some Of The Most Stringent, Crippling Sanctions On Top Of The International Ones…" CLINTON: "I worked for months to round up the votes. It reminded me of the backroom negotiations in the Senate, with all the horse trading, arm twisting, vote counting that go into passing any major legislation. In the end, we were successful. After years of division, the international community came together and sent a very strong, unified message to Iran. And then, building on the framework established by the United Nations Security Council, with the help of Congress, the Obama administration imposed some of the most stringent, crippling sanctions on top of the international ones, and so did our European partners. Our goal was to put so much financial pressure on Iran's leaders that they would have no choice but to come back to the negotiating table with a serious offer." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The American Jewish Committee Global Forum, Washington, D.C., 5/14/14)

But Clinton's Own State Department "Worked Hard Against" Sanctions Legislation

What Clinton Didn't Mention Was That Her Own State Department "Often Worked Hard Against Many Of The Measures She's Now Championing." "What Clinton didn't mention was that top officials from her own State Department-in conjunction with the rest of the Obama administration-often worked hard against many of the measures she's now championing." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

  • Foreign Policy Headline: "Administration Tries To Water Down Iran Sanctions Legislation" (Josh Rogin, "Administration Tries To Water Down Iran Sanctions Legislation," Foreign Policy, 12/6/11)

Some Sanctions Legislation Was Slowed Down By The State Department, Some Lobbied To Be Made Softer, And Others "Opposed Outright By Clinton's Deputies." "Some bills Foggy Bottom slowed down; others, the State Department lobbied to be made less strict; still others were opposed outright by Clinton's deputies, only to be overruled by large majorities in the House and the Senate." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

  • The Obama Administration Worked "Behind The Scenes To Water Down Congressional Language That Would Impose Crippling Sanctions" On Iran. "President Barack Obama's administration is working behind the scenes to water down congressional language that would impose crippling sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The Obama administration sent to Congress this week a list of requested changes to the sanctions language found in the Senate's version of the defense authorization bill, which was passed last week. Those sanctions, which would punish any bank that does business with the CBI, were part of an amendment authored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) that passed the Senate over the administration's objections by a vote of 100 to 0." (Josh Rogin, "Administration Tries To Water Down Iran Sanctions Legislation," Foreign Policy, 12/6/11)

Clinton's Comments On Iran Sanctions "Were An Attempt To Rewrite The Events Without Acknowledging The Administration's Actions At The Time." "For the senators who worked against the administration to pass the sanctions, Clinton's comments Wednesday were an attempt to rewrite the events without acknowledging the administration's actions at the time." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

In 2011, Clinton's Top Deputies Fought A Bipartisan Amendment "At Every Step Of The Legislative Process" That Sought To Sanction The Central Bank Of Iran. "The most egregious example of the administration's effort to slow down the sanctions drive came in late 2011, when Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez openly chastised top administration officials for opposing an amendment to sanction the Central Bank of Iran that he had co-authored with Sen. Mark Kirk. Leading administration officials including Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman publicly expressed 'strong opposition' (PDF) to the amendment, arguing that it would anger allies by opening them up for punishment if they did not significantly reduce their imports of Iranian oil. Clinton's top deputies fought the amendment at every step of the legislative process. Clinton's #2 at the State Department, Bill Burns, even joined an emergency meeting with top senators to urge them to drop the amendment. They refused. The amendment later passed the Senate 100-0." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)


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