National Public Radio presidential debate

What — what I believe is that this president, who just a few weeks ago was talking about World War III, he, the vice president, the neocons have been on a march to possible war with Iran for a long time. We know that they've prepared contingency plans for a military attack. My view is that the — this has been going on since the famous "Axis of Evil" speech, and the United States Senate had an important responsibility in standing up to him and stopping him on the vote on whether to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. The president says we're in a global war on terror, and then he declares the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization and also a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction. It's absolutely clear and eerily similar to what we saw with Iraq, where they were headed — and there's a different approach, a smart approach using our friends in Europe and the European banking system to deal with this.

SIEGEL: Thank you, Senator Edwards.

And Congressman Kucinich.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Just as five years ago I warned that there was no evidence that would merit war against Iraq and warned this country not to do it, so for the past few years I've been saying that there's no evidence that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. And unfortunately, the president, just as he was able to convince some of my colleagues here to vote for the war against Iraq, despite the fact there wasn't any real evidence, so he has been able to get some of my colleagues here — Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards — to say of Iran "all options are on the table." As a matter of fact, he's still saying that. So we really need to switch to not just diplomacy, but my candidacy offers the American people someone for president who was right the first time.

SIEGEL: Thank you, Congressman Kucinich.

A question from Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP: Senator Clinton, as some of your opponents have noted, in September you voted on a resolution involving the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which, among other things, called them proliferators of mass destruction. In view of this latest intelligence estimate, which says Iran's nuclear program was stopped in 2003, do you believe that's still true?

SEN. CLINTON: Well, there were other purposes for that resolution. It does label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, and there is evidence that they do support Hamas and Hezbollah, as Senator Obama just said, and in addition have, until recently, been supplying weapons and technical advisers to various factions within Iraq.

Since that resolution passed — which was non-binding and did not in any way authorize the president to take any action that would lead to war — our commanders on the ground in Iraq have announced that we've seen some progress from the Iranians backing off, no longer sending in weapons and materiel, and beginning to withdraw their technical advisers.

INSKEEP: Forgive me, are the Revolutionary Guards proliferators of mass destruction?

SEN. CLINTON: Well, many of us believe that. You know, earlier this year, Senator Edwards told an audience in Israel that the nuclear threat from Iran was the greatest threat to our generation. Back in 2004, Senator Obama told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board that he would even consider nuke — surgical strikes by missiles to take out Iran's nuclear capacity. So there was a very broadly based belief that they were pursuing a nuclear weapon.

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