Iran Complains to UN About Clinton Comments

May 2, 2008 8:19am

"75% Off Giuliani and Romney"

…or so says a sign atop a basket of buttons in the sundry shop at The Westin Indianapolis.

Buttons for Clinton, McCain and Obama remain sold at regular price; the GOP also-ran pins are priced-to-move.

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It’s tough to poll in Indiana, I am told, since voters do not register by party.

That said, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, seems to have an edge here, at least as evidenced by her endorsement by the editorial board of the Indianapolis Star, which today says  she "is well prepared for the rigors of the White House. She is tough, experienced and realistic about what can and cannot be accomplished on the world stage."

(Two caveats, per the Star — "Clinton regrettably has pandered more to voters, particularly on gas prices, than Obama. Both have taken stands on free trade that give in to protectionism. Clinton also was an integral part of her husband’s political machine, which earned a reputation for flattening opponents. That factor understandably gives many voters pause about whether another Clinton should serve as president.")

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One wonders about Clinton’s heralded experience when one reads headlines abroad.

Her comments to Good Morning America’s Chris Cuomo about Iran a couple weeks ago raised proverbial eyebrows.

As you may recall, Clinton said that were Iran to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, "I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran…In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

On Wednesday Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi complained to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the Security Council, saying in a letter that her comments were "provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible" as well as, according to the official Iranian news agency, a "blatant violation of the UN Charter and contradictory to all international legal principles on rights of other nations."

Across the pond, former UN deputy secretary-general Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, the British foreign office minister responsible for Asia, told reporters that "while it is reasonable to warn Iran of the consequence of it continuing to develop nuclear weapons and what those real consequences bring to its security, it is not probably prudent… in today’s world to threaten to obliterate any other country and in many cases civilians resident in such a country."

Clinton in 1999, you may recall, called another international dust-up for the opposite reason — she sat by as Suha Arafat (speaking in Arabic) accused Israel of poisoning Palestinians, then gave Mrs. Arafat a kiss on the cheek. Clinton later said the translation of what Arafat was saying sounded less harsh, and she condemned "inflammatory rhetoric" and "baseless accusations."

After Clinton launched her 2000 Senate campaign, Republicans later attempted to make hay out of the incident to obviously little success.

- jpt

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