Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Tuesday tentatively endorsed a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions, but she suggested the agreement does not do enough to contain Iran's role as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Clinton suggested the deal was missing provisions that would stop Iran's "bad behavior," including sponsorship of terrorism in the region, its threat to Israel, and the jailing of several Americans.
"That bad behavior is something we have to address," Clinton said. "I think we will have to immediately upon completion of this agreement ... look to see how we build a coalition to try to prevent and undermine Iran's bad behavior in other areas."
Clinton said the nuclear deal will "enable us to turn our attention, as it must, to doing what we can with other partners in the region and beyond to try to prevent and contain Iran's other bad actions."
White House officials have said for months that that the deal was focused only on Iran's nuclear capability, and not its broader support for terrorism. But at the last minute, the administration agreed to include language that would allow an unrelated item to be included — an end to the United Nations' conventional weapons ban against Iran after five years.
Still, Clinton told reporters after she left a private meeting with House Democrats in the Capitol basement that she believes the deal "puts the lid on Iran's nuclear program." Despite that broad support for the deal, she said she will evaluate the accord in more detail and will consult with national security experts and former secretaries of state.
"I think we have to look at this seriously, evaluate it carefully," Clinton said. "But, I believe based on what I know now, this is an important step."
Clinton did not take questions from the press.
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She told reporters President Obama called her last night and informed her of the agreement, which reduces but does not eliminate Iran's ability to enrich uranium.
The deal also provides Iran with a 14-day warning ahead of nuclear inspections that would have to first be agreed upon both by inspectors and Iranian officials.
Clinton said the deal would require vigorous enforcement, which she would ensure is carried out if elected president in November 2016.
"We have in the agreement the access for inspection and transparency that was absolutely necessary," Clinton said. "But we have to treat this as an ongoing enforcement effort which I strongly support and as president, would be absolutely devoted to ensuring the agreement is followed."