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(photo credit: AP)
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton advocated talks to settle differences with Iran but said Saturday that Teheran would invite US action if it were to disrupt oil supplies.
"I will make it very clear to the Iranians that there are very serious consequences attached to their actions," Clinton said. The presidential candidate spoke at a town hall meeting with 300 people at a high school in a Democratic stronghold in early voting South Carolina.
The New York senator, responding to a question, said blocking oil shipments "would be devastating to the world economy."
If the US took military action as a result, she said, "I would hope that the world would see that was an action of last resort, not first resort. Because we need the world to agree with us about the threat that Iran poses to everyone."
Clinton said that is why, as president, she "would immediately open a diplomatic negotiation with Iran over all issues that we disagree with them on." President George W. Bush has erred by not having that type of relationship, she said.
She disputed critics who said her recent Senate vote to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization presaged supporting war. Instead, she said, the vote is consistent with her negotiating strategy.
"They are supporting sending weapons into Iraq right now that are used against our troops," she said. The resolution gives an opening to future penalties and "leverage when we negotiate with them."
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