President Barack Obama called Hillary Clinton to notify her of the Iran nuclear deal on Monday night, hours before word of the agreement was announced to the world.
Obama made the call to Clinton, a leading Democratic presidential contender, in the context of her former role as secretary of state — not as a 2016 candidate, a senior administration official said.
“The president called me late last night to tell me an agreement had been reached,” Clinton told reporters Tuesday morning shortly after meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill.
As secretary of state during Obama's first term, Clinton played a key role in international sanctions placed on Iran, which under the agreement will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing to curb its nuclear program.
The White House said Obama spoke to Secretary of State John Kerry to congratulate him after the final deal was reached, then informed congressional leaders about it Monday night.
“We have, in the agreement, the access for inspections and the transparency that was absolutely necessary, but we have to treat this as an ongoing enforcement effort, which I certainly strongly support, and as president would be absolutely devoted to ensuring that the agreement is followed,” Clinton said on Capitol Hill.
Still, she offered tepid support, talking about Iran’s history of terrorism and need to maintain inspections.
“I will be talking, as soon as I leave you, with other secretaries of state and other national security advisers to get more details," she said. “This is an important step that puts the lid on Iran's nuclear programs, and it will enable us, then, 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."