Hillary Clinton is now claiming to be the architect of crippling sanctions on the Iranian economy. But during her tenure at Secretary of State, her department repeatedly opposed or tried to water down an array of sanctions measures that were pushed into law by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
peaking at the American Jewish Committee Wednesday, Clinton said that she and Obama faced a "hard choice" when deciding to both reach out to Iran and increase the pressure on the Iranian government and economy, a not so subtle pitch for her upcoming memoir "Hard Choices," which hits bookstores next month. She portrayed the multi-year effort to impose several increasingly tough sanctions measures against Iran as largely led by the administration.
"With the help of Congress, the Obama administration imposed some of the most stringent crippling sanctions on top of the international ones... our goal was to put so much financial pressure on Iran's leaders that they would have no choice but to come back to the negotiating table with a serious offer," she said. "We went after Iran's oil industry, banks, and weapons programs, enlisted insurance firms, shipping lines, energy companies, financial institutions and others to cut Iran off from global commerce."
"That decision not to crack down immediately on gold exports, when there was a lot of pressure on the administration to do that, ultimately allowed the Iranians to blow a massive whole in the international financial sanctions regime," said Mark Dubowitz, an Iran sanctions expert and executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. "The overwhelming success of Iran sanctions is certainly motivating many folks to claim credit. The reality is that there is no doubt that the toughest sanctions were imposed by Congress over the objections of the administration."