Kucinich: Bush inflaming situation in Iran
Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich talks to voters at a book store during a campaign stop in Warner, N.H., Thursday, April 5, 2007.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Dennis Kucinich (D) Representative, OH
Born: 10/08/1946
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Home: Cleveland, OH
Religion: Catholic
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AMHERST, N.H. - Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich said President Bush may be setting himself up for impeachment by setting the stage for war with Iran.

"The administration's preparations for war in and of itself have raised questions relating to impeachment," Kucinich told The Associated Press between campaign stops in New Hampshire.

The Ohio congressman said he has met with diplomats, ambassadors and other national leaders around the world in recent months to discuss Iran.

"There's a great deal of concern in the world community that a U.S. strike in Iran will invite a cataclysm," he said. "It's been 28 years since the United States has open diplomatic relations with Iran. It's urgent that we begin such relations. There's no reason for war."

Earlier, he told members of a women's group that by referring to Iran's capture of 15 British sailors as a "hostage crisis," the Bush administration was "deliberately trying to inflame a situation that is already tenuous."

"In a sense, the war has already started without the actual bombs," he said. "It's Iraq all over again. The rhetoric is the same. The saying one thing and doing another is the same."

The Bush administration recently altered its position on Iraq, saying that the U.S. is willing to talk to Iran on security in Iraq. At the same time, the administration also reaffirmed that all options are on the table to deter Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Though other Democratic presidential candidates have criticized Bush's approach to Iran and called for direct talks, Kucinich argued that by repeating the "all options on the table" line, his rivals are supporting an eventual invasion.

"Senators (Hillary) Clinton, (Barack) Obama and (John) Edwards are all virtually the same, saying all options are on the table. That is a euphemism for war," he said.

Voters only have to look at how those candidates have voted on the Iraq war to predict how they'd handle Iran, Kucinich said. Edwards and Clinton voted to authorize the war in 2002, though Edwards has apologized and Clinton says she would not have voted the same way if she knew then what she knows now. Obama, who wasn't in the Senate then, opposed the war from the start, though he and Clinton have voted to continue funding it while pushing for the withdrawal of American troops. Kucinich voted against both the authorization and subsequent funding of the war.

"Anyone running for president who tries to assert that they stand for peace while simultaneously voting for funding needs to be challenged," Kucinich said. "That old canard: 'I'm doing it for the troops?' Oh, please," Kucinich said. "If they really cared about the troops, they'd bring them home."

In the latest poll of New Hampshire voters, Kucinich barely registered, coming in at 1 percent. But he said efforts by other states to hold primaries soon after Iowa and New Hampshire vote mean a strong showing in New Hampshire will catapult him to success in other states.

When only about three dozen people showed up for his town hall meeting in Manchester later - partly due to a power outage that forced a last-minute change in the event's location _ Kucinich had the group pull their chairs into a circle and spent the evening asking them questions about their lives and goals for the nation.