Clinton: US ‘Not Setting Deadlines’ for Iran

Israeli war hawks seem to have buckled to a firm US position of favoring talks and sanctions over military action

by John Glaser, September 10, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said the US is “not setting deadlines” for Iran and still considers negotiations as “by far the best approach” to confront Iran’s nuclear program.

The past week or so has seen a shift in the dominant narrative on Iran. With US leaders convinced that Iran has not made the decision to develop nuclear weapons and also that a preventive military strike would backfire, Israel was growing frustrated and threatened to strike unilaterally.

But last week Israeli leaders appeared to give in to the US position, saying tough US postures may have eliminated the need to perform a unilateral strike.

Still, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated that the harsh US-led economic sanctions crippling Iran’s economy are having no effect on Iranian policy vis-à-vis continued uranium enrichment, “because [Iran] doesn’t see a clear red line from the international community.”

Asked if the Obama administration will issue sharper “red lines” threatening military consequences consequences for reach a deal in negotiations by a certain date, Clinton said, “We’re not setting deadlines.”

“We’re watching very carefully about what they do, because it’s always been more about their actions than their words,” Clinton said.

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