Romney would back Israeli strike against Iran, senior adviser says

July 29, 2012


Mitt Romney would support Israel’s decision to launch a military strike against Iran to keep that country from achieving nuclear capabilities, but hopes diplomatic and military measures will dissuade Tehran from pursing its path toward nuclear acquisition, a top foreign policy adviser for the GOP presidential candidate said Sunday.

“Gov. Romney believes we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is his fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so,” said adviser Dan Senor, previewing a speech Romney is scheduled to make Sunday afternoon. ”In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. Gov. Romney recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with it.”

Romney is on a seven-day overseas trip that started Friday in England, will continue this weekend in Israel and conclude in Poland.

Senor said Romney thinks preventing nuclear “capability” — not just a nuclear weapon — is critical.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed Romney as “a representative of the United States” and said he agrees with his approach to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Netanyahu said he listened to a Romney speech this month in which he said that Iran possessing nuclear capability is the greatest danger facing the world.

“Mitt, I couldn’t agree with you more,” Netanyahu told Romney on Sunday.

“We have to be honest and say that all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota. And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation,” Netanyahu said.

Romney in the morning visited Israel’s Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray. The event included Romney being shown a book that appeared to be a map of the wall.  He was also read a passage by the rabbi of the wall. Romney wore a dark blue jacket, a tie and a yarmulke.

There were hundreds of Jewish worshippers praying at the site, also referred to as the Wailing Wall, on the holy fasting day of Tisha B’Av. The wall in Jerusalem is the outside wall that surrounding one of two temples destroyed by the Romans. Today is said to be the day the Romans destroyed the temples.

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