Clinton, on Last Day as Secretary of State, Warns of Iran-Syria-Hezbollah Pact
On Hillary Rodham Clinton’s last day as the U.S. Secretary of State Feb. 1, the former First Lady and U.S. senator from New York warned that a large Middle East conflict could erupt if Syria’s civil war continues and if Iran continues to get involved in the violence. The conflict could engulf other regional nations, including Israel, she said.
Former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was sworn in Feb. 1 to take over for Clinton.
“I’ve done what was possible to do,” Clinton told reporters on her last day, according to the Associated Press. “The worst kind of predictions about what could happen internally and spilling over the borders of Syria are certainly within the realm of the possible now,” she said.
Clinton also spoke to reporters a day earlier in the wake of Syrian threats to retaliate for an alleged Israeli airstrike of a military research facility and nearby trucks containing Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles.
Israeli officials are neither confirming nor denying the strike, and Clinton did not directly reference it, only blaming Iran of assisting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s violent quenching of rebel forces.
“The Iranians are all in for Assad, and there is very little room for any kind of dialogue with them,” Clinton said. She added that Hezbollah, who is assumed to be the intended recipient of the SA-17s targeted in the Israeli strike, is also a background culprit in the Syrian violence, as is the Russian government.
“The Russians are not passive bystanders in their support for Assad. They have been much more active,” Clinton said.