Let Iran go on enriching uranium? Sounds like a great idea. But before Kerry implemented it as Secretary of State, Ready for Hillary was ready to let Iran go nuclear.
And who was the first high American official to suggest the U.S. might accept an Iranian uranium enrichment program? None other than Clinton, all the way back in 2010. In an interview with BBC that year, the then-secretary of state said of Iran: “They can enrich uranium at some future date once they have demonstrated that they can do so in a responsible manner in accordance with international obligations.”
She made similar statements to other journalists that year, including Time’s Michael Crowley. It was obviously a carefully constructed trial balloon. Clinton tethered the balloon with conditions—“responsible manner,” “international obligations”—but there it was, fluttering beguilingly. “No, absolutely” had just been amended to “Yes, possibly.”
That amended formula made an impact on somebody. Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, rose to power in Iranian politics as the country’s chief nuclear negotiator during the mid-2000s. In that job, he showed an acute ear for minute changes to the Western position. What Clinton offered in her BBC interview was anything but minute. It promised that Iran could gain a large measure of international acceptance without a total surrender of its nuclear capability. Three years later, that outcome is just what Rouhani has achieved.
David Frum claims that Hillary was perceived as a “Friend of Israel”. That’s hardly true except in the same circles that perceived Kerry that way. And the very fact that many of those circles could not come around to Obama does say something about his radicalism, but also their willingness to be fooled.
The Clinton Administration was often harshly oriented toward Israel and Hillary standing around while Arafat’s wife made ugly accusation before giving her a kiss is remembered by many.