Clinton's confirmation hearing revealed a few nuances of the policy toward Iran. (1) Kerry asked her whether the statement that " it is unacceptable that Iran has a weapon under any circumstances" means "that we will take any steps necessary to prevent that," or does it mean only that it is "not desirable." Clinton answered, "The president- elect has been very clear that it is unacceptable and that is our premise and that is what we are going to be basing our actions on." (2) Clinton said "we have no illusions...that we can predict the results" of diplomacy with Iran, but she said, "We won't know...until we're actually there working on it." (3) She said the goal is to "influence the behavior of...the Supreme Leader and the religious Council and the Revolutionary Guard, the Quds Force, because, as you know so well, all these are players."

KERRY: …Is it the policy of the incoming administration, as a bottom line of our security interests and our policy, that it is unacceptable that Iran has a weapon under any circumstances and that we will take any steps necessary to prevent that or is it simply not desirable? CLINTON: … The president- elect has been very clear that it is unacceptable and that is our premise and that is what we are going to be basing our actions on…We have no illusions, Mr. Chairman, that even with a new administration, …that we can predict the results [of diplomacy with iran]. But the president-elect is committed to that course and we will pursue it.…We won't know what we're capable of achieving until we're actually there working on it.... [We will do] all that we can to try to achieve greater international support for sanctions and action that could actually influence the behavior of the Iranian government, the Supreme Leader and the religious Council and the Revolutionary Guard, the Quds Force, because, as you know so well, all these are players.