Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton broke with the Biden administration this week when it comes to negotiating with the Islamic Republic of Iran, arguing the U.S. should support women in that country protesting the theocracy in place.
The White House has been trying to revive the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal with Iran while the Persian Gulf country faces unrest a home over the death of a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by Iran’s morality police for improperly wearing her hijab — Iranian security forces have killed at least 326 people since protests erupted two months ago, according to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights NGO.
Appearing on CNN, Clinton was asked by host Christiane Amanpour what more the U.S. could do to support the rights of Iranian women — Amanpour referenced the so-called Green Revolution in 2009, which erupted after Iran’s presidential election.
Clinton noted “it’s very different” today, after saying the decision made in 2009, when she was secretary of state, was “based on the best intelligence and information we had at the time that overt American support for the protests would actually hurt those protests and the protesters themselves.” Instead, she said, they worked behind the scenes to keep social media operating so that people could communicate and organize.”
“What’s happening now deserves our full-throated support,” Clinton insisted. “And I think every time anyone speaks on behalf of the United States government, they need to be saying that they stand with the people of Iran, particularly with the women and girls.”
“I would not be negotiating with Iran on anything right now, including the nuclear agreement,” she would add later. “I think that, frankly, horse is out of the barn, when Trump pulled us out, we lost the eyes that we had on what they were doing inside Iran. And I believe that they started those centrifuges spinning again.”
It’s highly debatable whether the Iranians ever allowed eyes fully on, to begin with.
“And I think it’s unlikely that any agreement would be agreed to,” Clinton continued. “And I don’t think we should look like we’re seeking an agreement at a time when the people of Iran are standing up to their oppressors and we are giving them hope and heart.”
In ending the negotiations, Clinton suggested the U.S. would be “sending a message to whoever the few, possibly concerned people are about what’s happening to the tens of thousands of Iranians being imprisoned and the many hundreds who are being killed, that maybe they are willing inside to speak out, not just within the government, but more importantly with the clerics, to say that this is not sustainable. We have to move back from this. You can’t promise a theocracy on covering up women’s hair.”
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