Romney: I Don’t Believe We’ll Have to Attack Iran

September 28, 2012  

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hinted on Friday that his position regarding Iran’s nuclear program is similar to that of his rival, President Barack Obama.

CNN quoted Romney as having told reporters, after a phone call with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, that the two “spoke about his assessment of where the red line ought to be drawn and my own views with regards to Iran.”

When asked if there was any difference between where he and Netanyahu would draw the red line, Romney said, according to CNN, “We did not go into enough, into the kind of detail, that would define precisely where that red line would be.”

He stated his belief that “there is a strategy that would lead us to preventing Iran from developing nuclear capability.”

“I do not believe that in the final analysis we will have to use military action. I certainly hope we don’t have to,” said Romney. “I can’t take that option off the table – it must be something which is known by the Iranians as a possible tool to be employed to prevent them from becoming nuclear. But I certainly hope that we can prevent any military action from having to be taken.”

Romney said he and Netanyahu talked about their last meeting, when Romney visited Israel, Great Britain, and Poland on an international trip this summer.

He then said Obama had “moved over time” regarding his position on Iran, saying, “his words more recently are more consistent with the words I’ve been speaking for some time.”

Earlier Friday, Obama spoke with Netanyahu by phone, a day after Netanyahu’s dramatic speech on Iran’s nuclear program before the UN General Assembly.

According to the White House, Obama spoke with the prime minister for about 20 minutes. They discussed a “range of security issues”, including Iran, said a White House statement.

“The two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” the statement said.

Romney expressed solidarity with Netanyahu after Thursday’s speech, saying, “I join in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for a Middle East of progress and peace. I join his urgent call to prevent the gravest threat to that vision: a nuclear-armed Iran. The designs of the Iranian regime are a threat to America, Israel and our friends and allies around the world.”

Romney has strongly criticized Obama for what the Republican challenger describes as failing to curtail Iran’s ambition to build a nuclear weapon.

Obama came under fire from Republicans this past week, when he likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a clear “red line” over Iran’s nuclear ambitions to “noise” he tries to ignore.

Interviewed for “60 Minutes” on CBS, Obama said, “When it comes to our national security decisions – any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out — any noise that’s out there.”

Romney’s campaign later said Obama’s “noise” comment was “the latest evidence of his chronic disregard for the security of our closest ally in the Middle East.”

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