Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a selfie with a supporter during a campaign event in Hanover, N.H., on Friday. (Photo: Reuters/Dominick Reuter)
HANOVER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton warned voters here ahead of the Fourth of July weekend that even if President Obama reaches a deal with the Iranian government over its nuclear program, the regime in Tehran will still pose a major threat to the United States.
“I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, because that is going to be a singular step in the right direction,” Clinton, the former secretary of state who is now running for president as a Democrat, told about 850 spectators in an outdoor amphitheater on the Dartmouth College campus.
But Clinton, despite her words of encouragement for Obama’s efforts to reach a deal with Iran, did not wholeheartedly endorse the process.
“We don’t know yet. It’s too soon. These things always go down to the wire,” she said.
And she quickly positioned herself in a more neutral way toward the entire process, saying that even if a deal is reached, it will not reduce the need to be vigilant against Tehran.
“But even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran,” she said. “They are the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism. They use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and to create insurgencies, to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel.”
“So even if we are successful on the nuclear front, we still are going to have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to rein in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness,” Clinton said.
Negotiations over the Iranian regime’s nuclear program continued Friday in Vienna between Iran, the United States, the European Union and five other nations.
Clinton last year expressed skepticism that Iran will stick to a deal, but has cautiously supported the negotiations this spring.
The former first lady was in New Hampshire for the fourth time since declaring her candidacy in early April. She will march in a Fourth of July parade on Saturday in Gorham, north of the White Mountains.
During her remarks, Clinton also had critical words for the Obama administration’s inability to stop cyberattacks like the one conducted by what are believed to be Chinese hackers who stole the records of millions of federal employees from the Office of Personnel Management.
“We need a much better policy on cyber,” she said.
“Right now, we are attacked. Businesses are attacked. Academic institutions, health insurance companies, you name it, as well as our government, are attacked on a daily basis to vacuum up information for commercial advantage or for intelligence advantage and strategic advantage. So we’ve got to come to grips with this,” she said.