Leak shows Clinton doubted Israel could destroy Iran’s nuclear program alone

The Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, stated in a closed-door speech in 2013 that Israel would not be able to seriously damage the Iranian nuclear program on its own. Clinton spoke at an event held by investment banking firm Goldman Sachs.

The transcript of the speech was published by WikiLeaks, which further stated that Clinton used this speech and two others in the same time period to raise $675,000.

“Now, the Israelis, as you know, have looked at this very closely for a number of years. The Israelis’ estimate is even if we set their program back for just a couple of years it’s worth doing and whatever their reaction might be is absorbable. That has been up until this recent government, the prior government, their position. But they couldn’t do much damage themselves. We now have a weapon that is quite a serious one, and it can do a lot of damage,” Clinton said.

According to the former US secretary of state, weapons that can penetrate protective layers (of concrete, for instance) are necessary in order to harm Iran’s nuclear facilities. “If you can’t get through the hardened covering over these plants into where the centrifuges are you can’t set them back. So you have to be able to drop what is a very large precision-guided weapon,” she stated.

Clinton emphasized the importance of preventing the Iranians from obtaining nuclear weapons, not merely containing the threat, saying, “Our policy – and President Obama has been very clear about this. Our policy is prevention, not containment. What that means is that they have to be prevented from getting a nuclear weapon. Now, the definition of that is debated. I have a very simple definition. If they can produce the pieces of it and quickly assemble it, that’s a nuclear weapon, even if they keep three different parts of it in different containers somewhere.”