None of the three Democratic candidates addressed foreign policy as they answered a sweeping question about what they would hope to achieve during the first 100 days after taking office.
Each candidate proposed raising the minimum wage, and all of the candidates spoke generally about improving the U.S. economy. Hillary Clinton also said she would work to bring the country together.
But missing from the exchange was any mention of foreign policy. ISIS. Syria. Iran. None of the subjects got treatment.
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The absence was notable because the debate follows a weekend of dizzying developments on the Iran front, and because the Republican debate on Thursday night featured a lengthy exchange on Iran during the first fifteen minutes.
The Democratic candidates are gathering Sunday after a historic series days on the world stage.
On Saturday, international sanctions against Iran were lifted after the United Nations’ nuclear agency said the country is complying with an agreement reached last summer to reduce its nuclear capability.
The announcement came only hours after a prisoner swap that resulted in the release of four American citizens from an Iranian prison. A fifth American held in Iran was also cleared to leave the country, though his release was not tied to the prisoner swap.
Among the Americans released was Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was held in Iran for a year and a half.
On Sunday, Rezaian and two other Americans, former Marine Amir Hekmati and Christian preacher Saeed Abedin, safely reached Germany, according to U.S. officials.
Administration officials said Saturday that the fifth American, Matthew Trevithick, was released independently of the prisoner swap and had already departed Iran.
The status of the fourth American released in the prisoner swap, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, was not immediately clear.
In a stark contrast to Sunday’s debate, which has so far focused on economic policy and gun control, Republican candidates Thursday wasted no time taking President Obama to task for failing to mention during his State of the Union address Tuesday the 10 U.S. Navy sailors held overnight by Iranian military forces. The sailors were captured hours before Obama’s address and were released the next morning.