Bill Clinton on Kenya terror and U.S. "thaw" with Iran

(CBS News) Former President Bill Clinton is hosting the annual meeting of his Clinton Global Initiative in New York City this week. The former leader addressed the terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday, telling CBS News' Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell that his organization lost an employee in the attack executed by al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab.

"We lost one of our employees in our health access program, which works on getting the world's cheapest AIDS and malaria drugs and building health systems around Africa," President Clinton explained.

"She actually worked in Tanzania. And I saw her just a couple weeks ago in dar es salaam when I was there, but she was nine months pregnant, just a couple of weeks away from delivery. So, she and her baby's father were walking in that mall in Nairobi, because she wanted to have the baby in Kenya. She thought that would be best. And they were both killed."

Turning to the looming threat of terror attacks on U.S. soil, Clinton said "it's been here once" but said the motivation behind the Kenya attack does not necessarily translate into an eventual pursuit of U.S. targets.

"They clearly were targeting Kenya because the Kenyans had gone into Somalia to try to stop al-Shabab from spreading to Kenya," he said, adding "President Obama's administration has supported them in their efforts. And I think this is kind of a long-term deal. We have to go on with our live-- plan our normal lives and-- and-- do our best to stop these things before they start. And answer it appropriately when they do."

Clinton also discussed ongoing rumors that President Obama will make historic diplomatic strides with the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, at the United Nations General Assembly this week, Clinton said, "I think there are lots of things going on now that the rest of us don't know. And the president is calculating and was required to calculate whether the benefits -- which would be enormous in terms of the atmospherics of seeing these two people meet and talk -- would more likely trigger positive future developments or more likely compromise the Iranian leader with his own conservatives."

WATCH: Pres. Clinton: "Clearly a thaw" going on between U.S. and Iran

"And also we don't know enough about exactly where they want to go. Do they really want to get in a position where they're not ever gonna have nuclear weapons, which is what they say? Or are we being basically diverted?"

"I think it's just a decision we have to leave with the two principals, with the president and the Iranian president," Clinton said, before adding, "But clearly, there's a thaw going on...they're rethinking their positions. And we ought to do what we can to explore it. We ought to get caught trying, because we have nothing to lose by getting caught trying."

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