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‘Diplomacy Works’: Peace Groups Hail Iran Deal; Clinton Talks Like a Hawk

Posted on Jan 17, 2016

By Common Dreams staff

  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, right, appears on “Meet the Press” with host Chuck Todd on Sunday. (”Meet the Press”)

Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) suggested Sunday that the Obama administration’s deal struck with Iran would never have happened had Hillary Clinton been president instead of Barack Obama.

Speaking on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, Sanders said: “If you think back to, I think it was 2007, during the campaign in which Secretary Clinton ran against Barack Obama, she was critical of him. A question was asked to Obama and said, “Would you sit down and talk to the Iranians?” And he said, “Yeah, I would.” Point being that you talk to your adversaries. You don’t run away from that. Secretary Clinton, I think, called him naïve. Turns out that Obama was right. So clearly, we have many, many issues and many concerns with Iran. But clearly also, we want to improve our relationships with this very powerful country.”

From the 2008 campaign:

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Meanwhile, Democrat Hillary Clinton struck a hawkish tone Sunday saying that if she were elected president in November, her approach to Iran would be “to distrust and verify.” Clinton added: “Iran is still violating UN Security Council resolutions with its ballistic missile program, which should be met with new sanctions designations and firm resolve.” “We’re going to watch Iran like the proverbial hawk,” Clinton said on “Meet the Press.”

Peace groups, however, are applauding President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for forging the agreement with Iran which successfully shrunk Iran’s nuclear program and led to the Iranian government releasing five U.S. citizens.

Paul Kawika Martin, the policy and political director of Peace Action, made the following statement:

“The implementation of the agreement proves that diplomacy works.  Instead of isolation, sanctions that don’t affect leaders or military intervention that costs vast amounts of blood and treasure and untold long-term costs and unintended consequences, the U.S. used dialogue, negotiations and the international community to solve conflict. The U.S. should continue to use diplomacy with Iran to tackle issues like human rights and regional security that will further reduce Middle East tensions. ... Lastly, this success shows that excessive Pentagon spending needs to be replaced with more investment in diplomatic tools to solve international conflicts without the horrendous costs of military intervention.”

The Win Without War coalition also applauded the announcement:

“Today, the Obama administration has proven that we can win without war,” said Drew Proctor, Advocacy Director for Win Without War. “The implementation of the historic nuclear agreement with Iran and the release of five U.S. citizens demonstrate the power of diplomacy over war. Of course, we do not expect the naysayers and do-nothings in Congress to praise this historic agreement, but we will demand that they finally stop their relentless attempts to snatch failure from the jaws of a great diplomatic victory. This agreement has made the region – and the world – a safer place by preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. This is a great deal and a historic opportunity to resolve conflict through diplomacy, not war.”


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