Iran Statements

The Israel Project, a newish hawkish adjunct to the existing hawkish Israel policy infrastructure, seems to have issued some kind of open invitation to political candidates to provide them with pandering statements about Iran which they then compiled here. The Democrats are all a bit vague, but seem to be saying different things. They do, however, frame things differently. Hillary Clinton leads by laying it on thick:

Today's event has the important goal of drawing attention to the security threat posed by Iran. Iran poses a threat to our allies and our interests in the region and beyond. The Iranian president has held a conference denying the Holocaust and has issued bellicose statements calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. His statements are even more disturbing and urgent when viewed in the context of the regime's quest to acquire nuclear weapons. This regime also uses its influence and resources in the region to support terrorist elements that attack Israel. Hezbollah's attack on Israel last summer, using Iranian weapons, clearly demonstrates Iran's malevolent influence even beyond its borders.

John Edwards is a bit more measured, but like Clinton seems interested in deliberately misleading the American people about who the lead decision-maker is in Iran: "Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a politically unstable leader and an open supporter of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons could also set off a regional nuclear arms race in one of the unstable regions in the world, which directly threaten US interests." Edwards does, however, partially atone for his sins by directly emphasizing the need to place carrots on the table. Obama says the least in policy terms (surprise!) but also avoids the Ahmadenijad demagoguery of the other two.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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