Former President Bill Clinton says that, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran is close to building a nuclear bomb, it was “the biggest unkept secret in the world.”
In the second part of an interview with Fox News that aired Wednesday, Clinton also said President Barack Obama should not “take any military option” off the table in dealing with Tehran.
“First of all, let me say there are probably lots of things that I don’t know because I have declined to take any security briefings since Hillary became secretary of state, unless someone in the White House specifically asks me too, like when I went to North Korea to bring those young journalists home,” Clinton told Bill O’Reilly during an appearance in which he also discussed his new book, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.”
“But here is what I think about it: I think when the IAEA finally said Iran was trying to get a nuclear weapon, and seemed to be pretty far along the road, that was the biggest unkept secret in the world — anybody that had been paying attention knew that — we don’t know maybe exactly when that would happen.
“But I also know that dealing with it is complicated — that’s what the Israelis think too,” Clinton said. “I mean, when you have to ask yourself what are your options here, I do not believe the president should take any military option off the table — there may be efforts right now that we don’t even know about.”
O’Reilly asked Clinton why China and Russia are not helping the United States in trying to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.
“It’s dangerous to the Russians because of all the Muslims on their underbelly, many of whom have difficult living conditions and are fertile ground for . . . terrorism. And it’s dangerous for the Chinese because of the Muslims in their northwest in the same kind of circumstances,” Clinton said. “But the bottom line is I think the Americans, and the Israelis, and the Sunni Arab states that are very concerned about it — I hope and presume they are all working together — I hope and presume they are all sharing intelligence. And I hope and presume they are looking at all their options.”
Clinton noted the danger might not be that Iran itself launches a nuclear weapon, as the authorities in Tehran are more than aware that the United States or Israel would obliterate the nation. Rather, the fear is that the capability would be passed on to terrorists.
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