Clinton Pushed Obama for Tougher Stance on Iran

President decided last-minute to use 'appalled and outraged' language
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 10:40 AM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a news conference at the State Department in this June 8, 2009, file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – When President Obama recently toughened his language against the Iranian government, saying he was “appalled and outraged” at its violence against demonstrators, it came as a “happy surprise” to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, administration officials tell the Washington Times. Clinton had been pushing for a tougher stance against Iran for a few days, with Obama preferring a more cautious approach.

Obama apparently made the decision to follow Clinton’s advice just shortly before delivering his remarks—until then, he had stuck with the safer expression of “deep concern” over the events in Iran. Clinton had agreed, but felt the US should get tougher after the death of Neda Agha-Soltan was captured on video and circulated on the Internet.