Madam Secretary

Clinton’s CNN interview with Amanpour is on at 3 p.m. today

Secretary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ interview with Christiane Amanpour and GWU’s Frank Sesno will be on CNN today at 3 p.m. U.S. Eastern time (7 p.m. GMT on CNN International). Last night, I was able to watch in person their interview at George Washington University and, as expected, they gave intelligent responses to important ...

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Christian Amanpour, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Frank Sesno, Oct. 5, 2009 | JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images Secretary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ interview with Christiane Amanpour and GWU’s Frank Sesno will be on CNN today at 3 p.m. U.S. Eastern time (7 p.m. GMT on CNN International).

Last night, I was able to watch in person their interview at George Washington University and, as expected, they gave intelligent responses to important questions on Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. At the end, a young man — presumably a GWU student — screamed, “I love you, Hillary Clinton!” (You probably won’t see that part on CNN.)

Clinton once again reiterated that she, Gates, and President Obama have a harmonious working relationship, saying:

 

Henry Kissinger … said that it was the first time that he found that the, you know, State Department, the White House, and the Defense Department mostly through Bob [Gates] and me and — and General [James] Jones — were all saying the same thing.

“Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have differences of opinion or see issues from slightly different perspectives, but we have an enormous amount of respect for each other, we listen to each other, and we work through, give our best advice to the president and then support the president’s decision.”

Referring to the recent talks in Geneva between Iran, the United States, and five other countries over Iran’s nuclear program, Sesno asked, “Do you think the Iranians actually want to resolve this?”

Clinton candidly replied, “We don’t know yet. We don’t know.”

When Sesno asked about criticism that the talks were just another way for the Iranians to buy time, Clinton responded:

Does it buy time? It buys time. It buys time for us to consider carefully their response, the sincerity of their actions, and, you know, we’re moving simultaneously on the dual track. I mean, we always said we had a track of engagement, and we have begun that with this process, but we also said we would be working with like-minded nations and convincing others to stand ready with tougher sanctions were we not successful.”

Meanwhile, Gates said on Iran:

The only long-term solution to this problem, at the end of the day, is the Iranians themselves deciding having nuclear weapons is not in their interest. And if we can’t convince them of that, then an array of other options are open.”

Also a giant, approving applause burst out when Gates said:  

The American toolbox should contain something other than hammers.”

To learn about the other tools that Gates and Clinton think should be in the toolbox, check out CNN today.

Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP
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