Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney warned on Sunday that Iran would obtain nuclear weapons if President Barack Obama is re-elected for a second term in the November elections.
“It’s pretty straightforward in my view,” AFP quoted Romney as having told supporters in Georgia. “If Barack Obama is re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change if that’s the case.
“This is a president who has failed to put into place crippling sanctions against Iran,” said Romney, adding that Obama has also failed to make it clear “that it’s unacceptable to America for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
Romney’s remarks came several hours after Obama addressed the AIPAC Policy Conference. In his speech Obama vowed to use force against Tehran if necessary, but insisted that sanctions were working.
"I have said that I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say,” Obama said in the speech. “That means all elements of American power: political, economic and military. Iran's leadership should understand that I do not have a policy of containment. I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And I have made clear time and again, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”
He added, however, “Already there is too much loose talk of war. Now is not the time for bluster. Now is the time to let our increased pressure to sink in. Now is the time to heed the timeless words of Teddy Roosevelt: Speak softly and carry a big stick.”
In his remarks, Romney said Obama had “failed to communicate that military options are on the table and in fact in our hand.”
“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,” said Romney.
Romney has won eight states in the Republican primaries so far, the latest win being on Saturday in Washington state.
Romney won the primaries in Arizona and Michigan earlier in the week, beating main challenger Rick Santorum who defeated him in three states in the beginning of February. The candidates are now campaigning in Super Tuesday states.
Romney, Santorum and Newt Gingrich, another Republican presidential hopeful will all address the AIPAC Policy Conference on Tuesday.
Romney, who has expressed his strong support for Israel, has criticized Obama for throwing “Israel under the bus” and suggested there should not be “an inch of difference" between the U.S. and Israel. His website says he “will reject any measure that would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”