This woman is an idiot. I support her husband but she's just an idiot. Yes, let's talk about Iran and then show how evil Iran is but showing footage of a SAUDI man in AFGHANISTAN. They're all the same aren't they?
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential hopeful, warned on Tuesday that the US would "obliterate" Iran
if Tehran used nuclear weapons against Israel, in comments that could foreshadow a tough new doctrine of deterrence towards the Islamic Republic.
"I want the Iranians to know that, if I'm the president, we will attack Iran,"
Mrs Clinton said on ABC Television in response to a question about a possible Iranian nuclear assault on Israel. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."
Mrs Clinton's remarks on the day of the Pennsylvania primary, highlight the national security issues she maintains she is more qualified to deal with than is Senator Barack Obama, her Democratic rival. Stressing such issues, she is also running an advertisement featuring footage of Osama Bin Laden and combat scenes.
But her remarks also come at a time of increasing consensus in the US that there is little Washington can do to prevent Iran moving closer to nuclear capability and that current policy may be outdated.
Even if Mrs Clinton fails to win the Democratic nomination, her comments are likely to increase the pressure on Mr Obama to match her language on Iran. Asked a similar question in a debate in Pennsylvania last week, he was much less explicit, maintaining that an Iranian attack on Israel was "unacceptable" and that "the US would take appropriate action".
The issue is set to be a major concern of the next administration, since many western intelligence agencies estimate that Iran will be able to develop enough fissile material for a bomb between 2010 and 2015.
Last year, a US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran concluded that "only an Iranian political decision to abandon a nuclear weapons objective would plausibly keep Iran from eventually producing nuclear weapons - and such a decision is inherently reversible".
In a finding that confused US allies and greatly diminished expectations of a US pre-emptive attack on Iran, the estimate also said that the Islamic Republic had halted a covert nuclear weapons programme in 2003. But it added that more significant work continued on Tehran's missile programme and on uranium enrichment - which can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons grade material. Iran insists its nuclear programme is purely peaceful.
Since then, some of the leading US advocates of a muscular approach to Iran's nuclear programme have given up expectations of a pre-emptive strike while dismissing the Bush administration's attempts to increase international sanctions on Iran. "As there will apparently be no disarming of Iran by pre-emption or by sanctions, we shall have to rely on deterrence," wrote Charles Krauthammer, an influential conservative commentator, in the Washington Post this month.
This week, Robert Gates, US secretary in defence, said in a speech that although he believed Iran was "hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons", "another war in the Middle East is the last thing we need". But, he added: "the military option must be kept on the table."
In an earlier interview on MSNBC, Ms Clinton argued that by emphasising deterrence she was more pragmatic than were supporters of pre-emption who believed that Iran's leadership might "be willing to become martyrs".
Her latest comments also build on her remarks in last week's Democratic debate, when she suggested that stronger US security guarantees for Arab countries as well as Israel could prevent an arms race in the region. She insists on greater diplomatic engagement with Iran although unlike Mr Obama she says she would not meet Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the country's president.
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