Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday on CNN International’s “Amanpour” that the Biden administration should not negotiate with Iran.
Anchor Christiane Amanpour said, “So on Iran because clearly the whole world is watching the very brave women and girls there stand up for their rights. And we’ve also seen the crackdown. We also know that this is all sort of complicated for the United States with all sorts of other policy, trying to get Iran, you know, to come back into the nuclear accord, which, by the way, it was a US president who brought the world out of that.”
She continued, “I spoke to the current secretary of state, Antony Blinken, on this program yesterday, and I asked him what more the US could do to support the rights of Iranian women. Obviously, the US isn’t going to intervene militarily to overthrow any government. But what do you think, if you were secretary of state, the US can do” And I think you were during the Green Revolution.”
Clinton said, “Yes. Well, first of all, during the Green Revolution in 2009, we made a decision 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. So behind the scenes, we tried to keep social media operating so that people could communicate and organize. Now I think it’s very different than it was 13 years ago.”
She continued, “What’s happening now deserves our full-throated support. 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 also think we should continue to take whatever action is possible through international bodies. I was part of a group of women leaders who called for the UN to kick Iran off the UN Commission on the Status of Women. They should never have been on there in the first place. And I believe we’re moving toward that actually being accomplished. At least it better be because it’s the right thing to do. But I also believe that we need to keep the world’s attention focused. I did an event last week with a group of Iranian American women and artists who were really pleading to keep their eyes on Iran, don’t lose focus on covering what’s happening inside. And Christiane, I want to thank you for refusing to put on a hijab to continue an interview with the president of Iran, because we need to be standing with the people of Iran. Now, you know that the issues are much more than even the oppression of compulsory hijab, but that is a symbol of what that oppression means to the lives, the freedom, the opportunities of the women of Iran. So this is something our government needs to keep speaking out about.”
She added, “And finally, I would not be negotiating with Iran on anything right now, including the nuclear agreement. I think that, frankly, horses 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. And I think it’s unlikely that any agreement would be agreed to. 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. And I think we’re doing something else. We’re 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 this is not sustainable. We have to move back from this.”
Clinton concluded, “You can’t promise a theocracy on covering up women’s hair. That doesn’t mean we’re going to overthrow the regime, and they’re going to leave peacefully. But I’m hoping that there can be some kind of internal discussions that might lead to, you know, more freedom, but also less oppression. So all of that is going on at the same time in the US, and others need to be on the side of the protesters and their very legitimate demands for the freedom that they deserve as the human rights of them and their fellow citizens should be recognized.”
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