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2012 Republican Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mitt Romney

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney


Romney position on Iran

Well, let’s — let’s start back from there and let’s talk about where we are. This is, of course, President Obama’s greatest failing, from a foreign policy standpoint, which is he recognized the gravest threat that America and the world faced as — and faced was a nuclear Iran and he did not do what was necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. What he should have done is speak out when dissidents took to the streets and say America is with you and work on a covert basis to encourage the dissidents. Number two, he should have put — put in place crippling sanctions against Iran. But instead of getting Russia, for instance, to when — when he gave in our — our missile defense system, to agree to — to stand with those crippling sanctions, he gave Russia what they wanted, their number one foreign policy objective, and got nothing in return...

... Finally, the president should have built a credible threat of military action and made it very clear that the United States of America is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Look, one thing you can know and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you elect me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon...

... Well, it’s worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It’s worth working with the insurgents in the country to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we’ve done, there’s nothing else we could do besides mil — take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. This term unacceptable has been applied by several presidents over history. And our current president has made it very clear that he’s not willing to do those things necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. I will take a different course. I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition.

January 7, 2012: Romney speaking at the ABCNews - WMURTV GOP Debate at St. Anselm College, New Hampshire

Introduction to the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates
Barack Obama on Iran
All Presidential Candidates on Iran
Compare Romney and Obama on Iran

Comment on Mitt Romney's position on Iran

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