Jeb Bush’s Attack On Obama Over Iran Goes Horribly Wrong

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from THINKProgress,

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called on Congress to pass legislation that would trigger sanctions against Iran just as the United States and its European partners are consumed in negotiations over the country’s nuclear program.

During a wide-ranging speech on foreign policy matters at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Wednesday, Bush criticized the Obama administration for staking out a negotiating position that, he claimed, would endanger Israel and the world by merely managing the Iranian nuclear program rather than eliminating it altogether.

“The administration no longer seeks to prevent nuclear enrichment, now it seeks merely to regulate it,” Jeb Bush said. “Prevention of nuclear weapons in Iran was once a unifying issue in American foreign policy. Leaders of both parties agreed to it.”

Congress, he said, “should pass bills to reinstate sanctions in advance if negotiations fail and require approval if an agreement is reached.”

Media reports indicate that the Obama administration and its negotiating partners — Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany — would in fact permit Iran to retain its nuclear infrastructure but significantly delay its ability to build a nuclear weapon by more than a year. The world powers are also pushing for a rigorous inspection regime to ensure Iran is not developing covert nuclear facilities and would in turn provide Iran with sanction relief and greater integration into the world community.

But “managing” Iran’s nuclear capabilities, as Bush puts it, isn’t a position that originated in the Obama administration.

As the New York Times points out, George W. Bush officials eventually conceded during his presidency that “there was no way to reach a deal without Iran retaining at least a face-saving amount of enrichment capability.”

Though many Republicans agree with Jeb Bush’s call to pass a new sanctions bill, Democrats who had broken with Obama on the issue in the past recently backed off, promising to wait “until after March 24, and only if there is no political framework agreement” on supporting additional sanctions.

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