Peace between Israel and the Palestinians is hard to envision while the futures of neighbors Syria and Jordan are uncertain, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday.

Any lasting peace deal is probably out of reach until Israel and the Palestinians "know what happens in Syria and will Jordan remain stable," Clinton said in an exchange with college students and others in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

It is very rare for American leaders to acknolwedge that the Western-oriented monarchy in Jordan, a key U.S. partner in the Middle East and powerful peace broker, may fall. The monarchy escaped the tumult of the Arab Spring and is atempting reforms, but its future is an open question, as Clinton intimated. Jordan was the second Arab state to make peace with Israel, after Egypt, and is an important go-between with Palestinians and other Sunni Arab states.

Clinton also said peace is difficult so long as the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia's next move is unclear. Iran is the militia's principal benefactor. Clinton did not specifically cite the international nuclear deal with Iran, but it was clear that she was referring to the question, frequently raised by Israel, of whether Iran will direct some of its freed-up oil wealth to Hezbollah's anti-Israel terrorist activities.

Clinton claimed some success as a peacemaker while she was in office and appeared to blame the collapse of direct Israel-Palestinian talks on the wave of Mideast revolutions and unrest during the 2011 Arab Spring, although talks had broken off the previous year. She did not mention demands from the United States, conveyed by her to Israel,  about a moratorium on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Talks broke down when Israel refused to extend a temporary moratorium, and both sides blamed the failure on the United States.

Clinton told the audience Wednesday that she was present for all three direct meetings between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which was the only achievement of the peace effort in President Obama's first term.

A second-term effort led by Clinton's succesor, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, fell apart in 2014.

Clinton pledged hard work to try to broker a deal that could finally establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, but she joked that even discussing the issue is hard.

"We can be here until dark," she said. "Maybe we can serve breakfast."