Clinton Talks About Her Iran Strategy

Saturday, October 13th 2007, 8:13 pm
By: News On 6

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) _ Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday that President Bush has made a mistake in failing to push direct diplomacy with Iran despite the increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Asked at a campaign appearance what the United States should do in the event Iran blockades Mideast oil, the New York senator and presidential hopeful said, ``I will make it very clear to the Iranians that there are very serious consequences attached to their actions.''

Speaking at a town hall meeting with some 300 people at a high school in South Carolina, she such consequences would be in the realm of sanctions. Clinton again defended her vote in the Senate for a resolution labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist force, disputing critics who said her vote presaged support for war.

Clinton said the was vote was consistent with her negotiating strategy. ``They are supporting sending weapons into Iraq right now that are used against our troops,'' she said, adding that the resolution gives an opening to future penalties and ``leverage when we negotiate with them.''

Responding to a woman's question about such a hypothetical Iranian blockade, Clinton said it would be ``devastating to the world economy.''

She said she would ``immediately open diplomatic negotiations with Iran over all of the issues we disagree with them on,'' and said she thought such talks would be indispensable to American credibility in the region, particularly if tougher actions had to follow.

``And I think that President Bush has made an error in not having that process, in not having our diplomats being in constant contact and negotiation,'' she said.