“no option should be excluded”
Mitt Romney said Sunday that preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear capability should be America’s “highest national security priority,” stressing that “no option should be excluded” in the effort.
“We have a solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran’s leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions,” Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, told an audience that including a large contingent of American donors. “We must not delude ourselves into thinking that containment is an option.”
Adhering to a foreign code
The speech was short on policy prescriptions, as Romney tried to adhere to an unwritten code that candidates not criticize each other on foreign soil. But there were subtle differences between what he said and the positions of his opponent.
While the Obama administration typically talks about stopping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, Romney adopted the language of Israel’s leaders, who say Tehran must be prevented from even having the capability to develop one.
And while President Obama and his aides always acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself, they put an emphasis on sanctions and diplomacy; Dan Senor, Romney’s senior foreign policy aide, went further Sunday, suggesting that Romney was ready to support a unilateral military strike by Israel.
“If Israel has to take action on its own,” Senor said in a briefing before the speech, “the governor would respect that decision.”