Iran, Afghanistan Dominate Sunday Talk Shows
By John Amick and Ibby Caputo
This Week: Gates Sees Hope for Iran Talks, Urges Patience in Afghanistan
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Sunday that if talks this week with Iran about its nuclear program are not productive, economic sanctions could be imposed.
(Read more on Sec. Gates's comments on Iran, Afghanistan and the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison.)
Referring to the meeting starting Oct. 1 with diplomats from Iran, the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, Gates said: "And then, if that doesn't work, then I think you begin to move in the direction of severe sanctions. And their economic problems are difficult enough that -- that I think that severe sanctions would have the potential of -- of bringing them to change their -- their policies."
Gates said top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is supportive of President Obama's review of Afghanistan strategy following McChrystal's own assessment that more resources are needed to avoid failure. Gates said the focus on the "more resources" part of McChrystal's report, however, is misguided. The report "spends a lot of time talking about how we stay on side with the Afghan people. This is mostly what McChrystal's assessment is about."
More on the rest of Sunday's talk shows after the jump.
State of the Union: Gates: If Necessary, Sanctions on Iran Could Be Effective
Sec. Gates said Sunday that he had no doubts that Iran's newly exposed nuclear facility was constructed under dubious motives.
"I think that, certainly, the intelligence people have no doubt that this is an illicit nuclear facility, if only because the Iranians kept it a secret," Gates said on CNN's "State of the Union." "If they wanted it for peaceful nuclear purposes, there's no reason to put it so deep underground, no reason to be deceptive about it, keep it a secret for a protracted period of time."
Gates said the list of possible sanctions on Iran is plentiful, and that there is "no military option that does anything more than buy time," though he hopes upcoming diplomatic talks with Iran will yield progress.
"Sanctions on banking, particularly sanctions on equipment and technology for their oil and gas industry," he said. "I think there's a pretty rich list to pick from, actually."
Face The Nation: Clinton: Iran Must Prove Nuclear Intentions on October 1st
Iran will have to prove that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes at the October 1st meeting with the United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia and China.
"[Iran] can open up their entire system to the kind of extensive investigation that the facts call for," said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on "Face The Nation" Sunday.
Clinton also said that sharing information with Russia has been helpful this past week and that she thinks Russia has begun to see many more indications that Iran is engaging in threatening behavior.
"President Medvedev said...that sanctions may not be preferable, but they may be inevitable," Clinton said.
(Read the transcript of Sec. Clinton on Afghanistan strategy.)
Fox News Sunday: Feinstein Calls McChrystal's Assessment a 10-year Plan
Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee discussed Afghanistan, Iran and Guantanamo today on "Fox News Sunday."
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called General McChrystal's assessment on Afghanistan a 10-year plan and said President Obama is correct to examine alternatives.
"I do not believe the American people want to be in Afghanistan for the next ten years, effectively nation-building, building schools, building a government," said Feinstein.
Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Christopher Bond (R-MO) called for strong economic sanctions that can force either a change in regime or policy in Iran.
"Today's action in firing the missiles is really a poke in the eye to those who think that diplomatic efforts and agreements and inspections are going to change the way that Iran is going," said Bond.
(Read the transcript of Sens. Feinstein and Bond on the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.)
Meet the Press: Bill Clinton: Right-Wing Conspiracy Still There
Former President Bill Clinton still sees a right-wing conspiracy at work in America, though maybe not as powerful as it was when he was in office.
"You bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it's as virulent as it was."
Clinton sees the current manifestation of such a conspiracy as one that only wants Obama to fail as president.
Clinton celebrated the relationship between President Obama and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former rivals during the 2008 presidential campaign.
"It's a good argument for reconciliation," Clinton said.
Posted at 12:39 PM ET on Sep 27, 2009
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