Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred on a number of foreign policy issues at last nights Democratic debate, particularly in offering contrasting approaches to establishing diplomatic relations with Iran.
Sanders, who Clinton has repeatedly called out over his lack of foreign policy experience, suggested the U.S. look to first improve relations with Iran and then apply pressure on them to cease their state-sponsored support of terror.
“You sit down and you work with people, you make demands of people, in this case demanding Iran stop the support of international terrorism” he said.
Clinton opened her response by referencing the landmark nuclear deal of the Obama administration, adding it must be reinforced with “consequences for Iran at the slightest deviation,” but she also warned against any move towards normalized relations with Iran as they continue spreading their terror tentacles throughout the Middle East.
Specifically, Clinton highlighted Iran’s role in the Syria conflict, the sponsoring of terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah and the transfer of weapons to Gaza for use against Israel, warning that “we have a lot of work to do with Iran before we ever say that they could move toward normalized relations with us.”
Sanders, acknowledging Iran as global sponsors of terror, reminded Clinton of a time she was opposed to talking to Iran, namely when she ran against the then-Senator Obama, adding “our goal is, in fact, to try over a period of time to, in fact, deal with our enemies, not just ignore that reality.”
Clinton responded by accusing sanders of incorrectly quoting her, stating that the question posed was, “Would you meet with an adversary without conditions?” to which she had responded “no,” insisting that this continued to be her practice during her tenure as Secretary of State in the Obama administration.