Jeb Bush to Israeli newspaper: U.S. approach to Iran nuclear talks ‘inexplicable’

Jeb Bush. Credit: Gage Skidmore.

( Former Florida governor and expected Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said in an interview with Israel Hayom published Friday that the Obama administration’s approach in the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran is “inexplicable.”

“It is inexplicable to me,” Bush said. “The administration started with a clear objective of not allowing the Iranians to have nuclear weapons and now we’re lowering that threshold to the point where the objective is to regulate their creation. I think that is very dangerous—it creates clear instability in the region, it’s an existential threat to Israel, and given the missile capabilities that Iran is developing, it creates significant risk to the rest of the world as well.”

“Nothing in these negotiations deals with the proxy wars that Iran is fighting, and Iran’s influence is now significant in four capitals outside of Tehran,” he added. “With a nuclear weapon, their efforts to destabilize the region would be even greater. So it makes no sense to me, to be honest.”

Bush said the Obama administration is “making a mistake to disparage” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his March 3 speech to Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat. National Security Advisor Susan Rice called the speech “destructive” to U.S.-Israel ties. 

“[Netanyahu] has every right to speak to Congress about the direct threats that a bad deal with Iran would bring to the United States, to the world, and of course, to Israel,” said Bush. It is “completely inappropriate” that the Obama administration is “putting daylight” between the U.S. and Israel, he said.

Asked if he is running for president, Bush responded, “I’m seriously considering the possibility of running. There is no decision yet—that will be later on.”

Posted on February 27, 2015 .