Bush: Don’t trust Iran
posted at 2:24 pm on October 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
George W. Bush has kept a low profile after leaving office in January 2009, but that’s not to say that he has withdrawn entirely. According to JNS, the former President made an appearance Tuesday evening at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York — and he didn’t mince words about the threat Iran poses to Israel and the US. Bush also warned that the US had better not trust Iran to disarm on its own:
One attendee of the event, speaking anonymously because Bush’s comments were off the record, said Bush quoted from his May 2008 speech to the Israeli Knesset. In that speech—one that on Tuesday he called a highlight of his presidency—Bush said America stands with Israel “in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.”
“Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations,” Bush told the Knesset in 2008. “For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
It was off the record, but not off the record-off the record, apparently. One of his close advisers told JNS to pay attention to the remarks:
Tevi Troy, who served as White House Liaison to the Jewish community as well as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Bush’s administration, told JNS.org that Bush’s appearance at the Conference of Presidents event was “enormously important” because Bush does not appear in public very frequently and has intentionally taken a low profile since leaving office. In particular, Bush takes a low profile “on political issues of the day,” but broke that mold with Tuesday’s comments on Iran, Troy explained.
“The fact that he would go to that kind of event, and also talk about the danger of Iran, which many people said was unfinished business from his administration, for understandable reasons given the economic collapse and the overstretch in Afghanistan and Iraq… the fact that he would go and weigh in on that issue I think is extremely significant and worth noting,” he said.
Let’s hope a few more people take the hint. This is as close as Bush has come to public comment on an Obama administration initiative, and while it’s not exactly criticism — yet, anyway — it certainly isn’t cheerleading the John Kerry initiative either.