Mitt Romney has said that he and Benjamin Netanyahu would employ the same “test” for Iran’s nuclear program, but that a strike was “a long way” off.
Speaking to CNN on Oct. 9, the US Republican presidential candidate said: “My own test is that Iran should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon. I think that’s the same test that [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu would also apply.”
Netanyahu is insisting the “international community” – a term which Israeli politicians often use in referring to the U.S. – draw a clear “red line” in Iran’s path to obtaining nuclear weapons. Crossing the line would mean military intervention.
Netanyahu has warned that vows to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons – such as the ones made by the Obama Administration – were not enough, and that the threshold to a strike on Iran should be set at an earlier point.
On CNN, Romney added that there should be “no daylight between the United States and Israel,” returning to a theme he has brought out frequently in recent campaign events. “We share values, and we’re both absolutely committed to preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon,” he said.
Romney also said that “we have a long way to go before military action may be necessary. And hopefully it’s never necessary. Hopefully, through extremely tight sanctions, as well as diplomatic action, we can prevent Iran from taking a course which would lead to them crossing that line.”
“There’s great hope and real prospects for dissuading Iran from taking a path that leads into a nuclear setting,” the former Massachusetts governor said.
If Israel were to launch a military strike, he said, “the actions of Israel would not come as a surprise to me.”
A report in Foreign Policy magazine on Oct. 8 said that Israel and the US are considering a joint surgical strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.