Abe, the choice that we are supposed to be presenting to the Iranians is: join the respectable community of nations or be subject to a range of sanctions. I don’t think it is particularly objectionable or controversial to remind the Iranian people and our allies that we are presenting a choice to the mullahs. What is objectionable is the lack of seriousness about what behavior is expected and what will result if Iran continues on its present course.
The President rather badly muddled the “or else. . . ” part of the equation. Hillary Clinton and Dennis Ross (who presumably still has the Iran portfolio) have a more difficult task now that the President has conveyed an utter lack of resoluteness. But I can’t find fault with Clinton’s effort to steer the ship at least partially back on course. The problem for her is the Iranians now have less incentive to take her and Ross seriously.