Hillary appeared on CCTV’s The Heat to discuss Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress and the trajectory of U.S.-Iranian relations, see here (Hillary’s segment runs for the first 9:25 of the program). In keeping with her recent CNN Op-Ed, see here, Hillary emphasized that a deal between the P5+1 represents not just a prospective resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue, but, even more importantly, a potentially fundamental transformation of Middle Eastern regional dynamics:
“[President Obama] has gone down this road of negotiations—real, serious, intense negotiations—with Iran, in some ways taking a page from my book, [Going to Tehran]: that the only way you can really deal with a rising Iran is to have constructive relations with it. President Obama is seriously engaged in that prospect, to have a constructive relationship with Iran. He can’t just have it by coming to a good agreement with Iran. He’s going to have to break crockery and actually tell the Israelis that it’s just a good [U.S.] relationship with Iran. It’s going to be a different sort of [U.S.] relationship with Israel. That, potentially is revolutionary for the United States, and could be enormously productive…
There is a real difference between Israel and, potentially a United States that is looking not to have dominance in the Middle East, but to realign its policies; there is a huge difference between Israeli policies and that kind of American policy. That kind of American policy would look at—instead of invading and occupying country after country, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Syria—instead of those kinds of military adventures, a new American policy would pull us back (not completely withdraw, but pull us back) into more of a balance of power approach in which we have constructive relations with all of the important players, including Iran. That is fundamentally at odds with Israeli policies, because a good [U.S.] relationship with Iran would constrain Israel.
So, in the words of former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the problem with Iran is not that they would bomb Israel. The problem with Iran is that they would make the Israelis think twice the next time [Israel] wanted to invade Lebanon or bomb Gaza. That’s good for the United States; to constrain the Israelis that way where they would have to think twice is good for us—but it certainly puts us at loggerheads with Israel, and that’s not just a Netanyahu problem.”
The program also includes an interview with our colleague Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Dean of the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran, starting 19:40 into the video. As always, we encourage readers to post comments, Facebook likes, etc., both on this site and on CCTV’s Web site.
—Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett