Romney: 'Iran will obtain nuclear weapon if Obama is re-elected'
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said that if Americans do not elect him as president but instead re-elect Obama as president for a second term, Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon.
According to AFP
, Romney's latest comments come just before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's arrival in the United States for talks with the U.S. President on options open in the face-off with Iran over its nuclear program.
reports that Romney, speaking in Snellville, 25 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia, to a crowd of about 1,200 supporters, at a pancake brunch, said: "This president has failed. It's pretty straightforward in my view. If Barack Obama is re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change if that's the case."
In Romney's view, the equation is straightforward: Elect Romney and Iran would not go nuclear. Elect Obama, Iran will obtain nuclear weapons.
reports Romney warned against the risk that a nuclear Iran could spur an arms race in the Middle East or allow fissile material get into the hands of terrorist organizations. Romney said: "If they have fissile material, then the world has changed. And I'm not willing to allow your generation to have to worry about a threat from Iran or anyone else that nuclear material be used against Americans."
He said that Obama is a president "Who has failed to put into place crippling sanctions against Iran. And that it's unacceptable to America for Iran to have a nuclear weapon."
notes that Romney has persistently sought to portray Obama as weak on the issue of Iran's nuclear program. But Obama, in response, has criticized Romney and other GOP candidates of "loose talk of war." Obama has also countered claims by the GOP candidates that his administration is not giving support to Israel, saying: "When the chips are down, I have Israel's back."
According to ABC News
, Obama, criticizing what he called "loose talk of war," said : "In the last few weeks such talk has only benefited the Iranian government by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on, to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel's security, America's security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster. Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built."
Obama, while trying to re-assure the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, said he would not hesitate to use force if necessary, but pleaded for a chance for sanctions to work. He asked for patience in ending the nuclear stand-off with Iran, saying sustained economic pressure was the best way to force Tehran to negotiate.
According to Haaretz
, Obama on Sunday, speaking before the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, said: "We all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically. Having said that, Iran’s leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States, just as they should not doubt Israel’s sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say."
In Romney's view, however, Obama has "failed to communicate that military options are on the table and in fact in our hand." Romney said: "I will have those military options, I will take those crippling sanctions and put them into place, and I will speak out to the Iranian people of the peril of them becoming nuclear."
Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are due to meet on Monday, and both leaders are expected to further discuss options open in dealing with the Iranian government
reports Romney will also address AIPAC Tuesday morning via satellite.