(newsmax). Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview that it’s “becoming clearer” to the Obama administration that the United States needs to get tougher with its adversaries after the Iranians “bit off” the hand of friendship that President Barack Obama originally extended.
She was asked why, with the Iranians seemingly determined to develop nuclear weapons, the United States shouldn’t make an effort to take out their nuclear facilities.
“Obviously, the president of the United States should always keep that option on the table,” Rice says.
“President Bush kept that option on the table. But it’s easier said than done with Iran. The Iranians have made certain that population centers would be implicated in any such attack, and many have always wondered that that might push the Iranians and their regime closer together rather than separating them.
“So instead everyone has tried increasingly tough diplomacy with the Iranians, and now with some of the weaknesses in that regime we can always hope that there’s a good chance to bring it down.”
“For the time being the Israelis have decided to try to let diplomacy work. But diplomacy has to work and it has to be tough diplomacy with teeth.
“I don’t have any doubt that the Israelis will defend themselves if the Iranians look as if they really are about to cross that nuclear threshold.
“There is some not bad news — it looks as if there are problems in the Iranian nuclear program. But pressure on the Iranian regime is an absolute must, because the unintended consequences of an attack by Israel on Iran, the very fact that we talk about something like that, shows how extremely crucial this issue is.”
“The United States of America is not going to be popular. That’s the wrong goal. The United States has to be respected, and it has to be predictably there for its friends and tough on its enemies.
“I think that’s now becoming clearer to the administration. They reached out a hand of friendship to the Iranians at the beginning. The Iranians essentially bit it off.
“So now you see efforts to do many of the things we were doing, which is strengthening the sanctions against the Iranians, and if the Iranians were implicated in trying to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, as I fully believe they were, really rallying the world around that, because we know what kind of regime this is. It’s not a regime that can be dealt with except from a position of strength.”