Who knew Hillary Clinton did Middle Eastern accents? I certainly didn''t—until I heard her pull out one at a fancy Saban Center luncheon Wednesday when trying to make the point that Iran''s leaders are out of sync with their public.

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Sitting beside Shimon Peres, who was being "interviewed" by former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk along with Clinton, the secretary of state told the swank audience of senators, former White House officials and a Supreme Court justice that there was a lot more affection toward America among Iranians than tends to be expressed by government officials.

She related what a group of Iranian tourists told her when they came up to her while she was on a recent trip to Georgia.

"We love you! We love you! We''re from Iran!" she said in ­­her best Persian accent. "The people like you."

Not that I''m an expert in Farsi inflections, but I think she needs to work on it. You can decide for yourself if you watch the C-SPAN broadcast here (and watch her walk past me at the press table in the opening shot).

Clinton also shared another anecdote from her visit that gave cause for hope. When asking a tourist official from Batumi, Georgia ("a mini Las Vegas on the Black Sea") where most visitors come from, Clinton was told there are lots of Turks, Russians, Iranians—and Israelis.

"Oh, how''s that all working?" she wanted to know.

She found out that, apparently, "If you go to the discos late at night, the two kinds of people that are left are the Iranians and the Israelis."

Unfortunately she didn''t try an Israeli accent. One can dream.

- Hilary Leila Krieger

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