National News

Jun 17, 2014 7:06 PM by Associated Press

Hillary Clinton: 'Not Prepared' to Back Working With Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed caution Tuesday about the United States working with Iran to combat fast-moving Islamic insurgents in Iraq, saying the U.S. needs to understand "what we're getting ourselves into."

The U.S. and Iran have held an initial discussion about how the longtime foes might cooperate to address the threat from the al-Qaida-linked militants that have swept through Iraq. The former secretary of state said at a CNN town hall meeting that any partnerships with third parties such as Iran would need to be "carefully thought through."

"I am not prepared to say that we go in with Iran right now, until we have a better idea what we're getting ourselves into," said the former secretary of state.

Clinton spoke during an hourlong forum to promote her new book, "Hard Choices," about her four years as President Barack Obama's secretary of state. Clinton is the leading Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 if she decides to run for president again.

U.S. and Iranian officials have both raised concerns about the swift advance of radical Islamist forces in Iraq and officials from the two countries met here briefly Monday. The White House, however, has ruled out the possibility that Washington and Tehran might coordinate military operations in Iraq.

Her appearance came hours after the Obama administration announced the capture of a Libyan militant suspected in the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton said the capture showed the U.S. has an "an unwavering commitment to bring to justice" those who commit acts of terror against the U.S.

Republicans have criticized Clinton's handling of the Benghazi attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. GOP officials have accused the Obama administration of stonewalling congressional investigators and misleading the public about the nature of the attack in the weeks before the presidential election.

Clinton said during the forum that she was "still looking for answers because it was a confusing and difficult time."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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