Channeling the likes of Rosie O’Donnell and CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, former Secretary of State under the Clinton administration Madeline Albright said she was worried about an “accident” in the Persian Gulf resulting in a war. Alright added since the Bush administration feels “empowered” they are more likely to start a war with Iran. Continuing, Albright commented it is possible to deal with countries like Iran diplomatically without “appeasing” them. As if she would know. Transcript below.
Exit questions: Why is Madeline Albright still relevant? Will Condi be on CNN six years after the Bush administration ends?
COOPER: Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, spoke today about stepping up the pressure on Iran. You have said in the past pressure needs to be put on them.
How do you put on pressure and, yet, de-escalate at the same time?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that the sanctions that the U.N. voted last week are very important. They show a unanimity of agreement among the powers on the council. And that is pressure.
But, at the same time, I hope that there are a lot of diplomatic activities going on behind the scenes. As you pointed out, the British are now breaking off a variety of relations. The — their foreign secretary was trying to talk to the Iranians. I think that she’s gone back to the United Kingdom.
But I do think that there are others that should be able to help. I’m concerned, Anderson, about an accident in the Persian Gulf, with our forces in there and the Iranians, with kind of loose ships. We do not need another war at this point.
COOPER: I want to read to you — just to get a different viewpoint in here, I want to read you what Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote, more conservative.
He said — quote — “That Iranian decision-makers took such a step is not the result of too little diplomacy, but, rather, too much. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s May 31, 2006, offer to engage Tehran resulted not in a suspension of uranium enrichment, but rather public gloating by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei,about U.S. weakness. Nor did the British ‘softly-softly’ approach toward Tehran or its proxies in Basra bring peace in our time. Rather, it convinced the Revolutionary Guards that the British were targets of least resistance.”
Do you buy that?
ALBRIGHT: Not at all. And it’s exactly that kind of hyperbole that’s gotten us into the mess that we’re in, in Iraq.
I think it’s very important for us to recognize that it is possible to deal with countries diplomatically without appeasing them. And I think that we should be very careful, in terms of all the saber- rattling. This is why we are in such a terrible situation, both in Iraq. And I’m very worried about Afghanistan.
COOPER: At the core, why do you think Iran has done this? Is it to pressure Britain in Iraq, to — to break — you know, to increase the — the moves for British troops to get out of Iraq?
ALBRIGHT: I think it’s hard to read all their motives.
Partly, what’s going on here, Anderson, is that they feel very empowered by the war in Iraq. I mean, one of the major miscalculations of this war, and what makes it such a disaster, is that it has given increased power to Iran in the region, much more than it’s had in decades. And they are, now, I must say, overreaching.
But I think they are very inexperienced in all of this. I think it is very important to de-escalate this. It’s very easy to get into another war. And I don’t think that’s where the mood of the American people is at this time.
COOPER: Secretary Albright, we appreciate your time.