Senator Hillary Clinton has taken the Bush administration to task for not taking an aggressive lead in dealings with Iran.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton last night criticized the Bush administration for its response to Iran’s nuclear program, saying it had chosen to “downplay” the crisis over the past several years.

In a speech at Princeton University, Mrs. Clinton, a New York Democrat, joined the Bush administration’s call for sanctions against Iran, and also said that the threat of military action against nuclear sites should not be ruled out.

But she was critical of the administration for letting European nations take the lead in negotiations over the last several years.

“I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations,” Ms. Clinton said, according to a transcript of the speech published by The Daily Princetonian. “I don’t believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines.”

Since 2002 Britain, France and Germany have led talks meant to assure that Tehran’s nuclear program would not give it the capacity to build weapons. The three countries last week declared that Iran’s decision to resume nuclear research had brought the talks to an end, and, with the United States in support, asked that the matter be sent to the United Nations Security Council for possible action.

“… downplay the threats …”

“… standing on the sidelines …”

This administration??

The administration that has been accused of being too aggressive in exerting power and control? Hmmm .. this is an interesting tactic by Hillary.

Given the bias that is perceived in our relationship with Israel, how was it an error in allowing other interested nations to take the lead and attempt to diffuse the situation in Iran?

Was the U.S. in as strong a negotiating position as Britain, France *biting tongue* (ok, I’ll concede that one!) and Germany?

It’ll be interesting to see how many other Democrats join on this particular bandwagon.

Politics Hawkish Hillary?