Clinton defends Iran nuke deal, says US ‘not being played’ by Tehran
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Clinton defends Iran nuke deal, says US ‘not being played’ by Tehran

In televised national security forum, Democratic nominee claims Iran was on 'fast track' to acquiring material for bomb-making

Matt Lauer, co-host of 'The Today Show,' listens as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during a veterans forum aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid September 7, 2016 in New York, New York. (AFP/ Brendan Smialowski)
Matt Lauer, co-host of 'The Today Show,' listens as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during a veterans forum aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid September 7, 2016 in New York, New York. (AFP/ Brendan Smialowski)

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defended the Iranian nuclear deal, during a televised national security forum on MSNBC where she and Republican rival Donald Trump each fielded 30 minutes of questions about their experience and judgment to be commander in chief.

While the candidates never appeared on stage together, their back-to-back sessions served as a preview of sorts for their upcoming debates.

Clinton said Wednesday that Iran was “on a fast track” to acquiring the material necessary to make a nuclear weapon before the deal was signed last year.

The deal, Clinton said, “put a lid on their nuclear program,” insisting that the US is not “being played” by Iran.

Clinton said the deal allows enough insight into Iran’s actions to ensure they’re following the rules.

Clinton took the stage first during the televised forum, and quickly found herself responding at length to questions about her years in government. She reiterated that she had made mistakes in relying on a personal email account and private server as secretary of state and in voting for the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a senator. But she defended her support for US military intervention to help oust a dictator in Libya, despite the chaotic aftermath.

“I’m asking to be judged on the totality of my record,” said Clinton, who grew visibly irritated at times with the repeated focus on her past actions.

Clinton, who has cast Trump as dangerously ill-prepared to be commander in chief, tried to center the discussion on her foreign policy proposals should she win in November. She vowed to not send American ground troops into Iraq or Syria to fight the Islamic State group. And she pledged to hold weekly Oval Office meetings with representatives from the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs to stay abreast of health care for veterans.

Clinton said her 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war was a mistake, and vowed to never again send ground troops there.

She also argued that her opponent has not taken responsibility for his support of the war.

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