Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Clinton’s refusal to express regret for her irresponsible “obliterate Iran” statement is deplorable and reflective of a foreign policy outlook that perpetuates rather than resolves conflicts.
Presidential candidates rarely answer hypothetical questions without intending to send an important signal. The question is does her statement to obliterate an entire country in the event that it attacks a key US ally add to America’s deterrence and security or does it add to existing perceptions that America is losing its ability to lead through diplomacy rather than force?
By enthusiastically answering a hypothetical question about a highly unlikely worst-case scenario, Senator Clinton deliberately passed on the opportunity to present an effective strategy that would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb in the first place.
This ill-advised approach deprives America the opportunity to pursue a successful non-proliferation policy and can make the worst-case scenario a self-fulfilling prophecy.
US-Iran relations have for more than two decades operated in a paradigm of enmity. This has fueled instability in the region and increased US-Iran tensions, much to the detriment of America and its allies.
Irresponsible and bellicose rhetoric, whether by Senator Clinton or by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, further pushes the two countries into this paradigm, making it increasingly difficult to bring stability to the Middle East and long-term security to the US and its allies.