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WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton set off tremors in the Middle East this week when she said a nuclear Iran could be contained by a U.S. "defense umbrella" — an offhand remark that appears to have emerged from obscure Washington policy debates and her own presidential campaign rhetoric.
Clinton's comments raised eyebrows because they seemed to go beyond the Obama administration's current thinking on Iran, which has been strictly focused on preventing the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Since making the remark on a television chat show in Thailand, Cli