(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointed to the “existential danger” that would occur if Iran had a nuclear weapon and warned that Iran “remains an extremist regime that threatens to annihilate Israel.”
Clinton said this in explaining her support for the nuclear deal that the Obama administration made with the Iranian regime.
“For many years, we've all been rightly focused on the existential danger of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Clinton said. “After all, this remains an extremist regime that threatens to annihilate Israel. That's why I led the diplomacy to impose crippling sanctions and force Iran to the negotiating table, and why I ultimately supported the agreement that has put a lid on its nuclear program.”
Here is an excerpt from Clinton’s speech:
“For many years, we've all been rightly focused on the existential danger of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. After all, this remains an extremist regime that threatens to annihilate Israel. That's why I led the diplomacy to impose crippling sanctions and force Iran to the negotiating table, and why I ultimately supported the agreement that has put a lid on its nuclear program.
“Today, Iran's enriched uranium is all but gone, thousands of centrifuges have stopped spinning, Iran's potential breakout time has increased and new verification measures are in place to help us deter and detect any cheating. I really believe the United States, Israel and the world are safer as a result.
“But still, as I laid out at a speech at the Brookings Institution last year, it's not good enough to trust and verify. Our approach must be distrust and verify.
“This deal must come with vigorous enforcement, strong monitoring, clear consequences for any violations and a broader strategy to confront Iran's aggression across the region. We cannot forget that Tehran's fingerprints are on nearly every conflict across the Middle East, from Syria to Lebanon to Yemen.
“The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxies are attempting to establish a position on the Golan from which to threaten Israel, and they continue to fund Palestinian terrorists. In Lebanon, Hezbollah is amassing an arsenal of increasingly sophisticated rockets and artillery that well may be able to hit every city in Israel.
“Tonight, you will hear a lot of rhetoric from the other candidates about Iran, but there's a big difference between talking about holding Tehran accountable and actually doing it. Our next president has to be able to hold together our global coalition and impose real consequences for even the smallest violations of this agreement.
“We must maintain the legal and diplomatic architecture to turn all the sanctions back on if needed. If I'm elected the leaders of Iran will have no doubt that if we see any indication that they are violating their commitments not to seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons, the United States will act to stop it, and that we will do so with force if necessary.
“Iranian provocations, like the recent ballistic missile tests, are also unacceptable and should be answered firmly and quickly including with more sanctions.
“Those missiles were stamped with words declaring, and I quote, ‘Israel should be wiped from the pages of history.’ We know they could reach Israel or hit the tens of thousands of American troops stationed in the Middle East. This is a serious danger and it demands a serious response.
“The United States must also continue to enforce existing sanctions and impose additional sanctions as needed on Iran and the Revolutionary Guard for their sponsorship of terrorism, illegal arms transfers, human rights violations and other illicit behaviors like cyber attacks. We should continue to demand the safe return of Robert Levinson and all American citizens unjustly held in Iranian prisons.”