In preparation for the Republican foreign policy debate later this month, Mitt Romney has been highlighting his plans for dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. On Tuesday he released an outline of his strategy, and he goes into more detail in a Wall Street Journal column today:
I want peace. And if I am president, I will begin by imposing a new round of far tougher economic sanctions on Iran. I will do this together with the world if we can, unilaterally if we must. I will speak out forcefully on behalf of Iranian dissidents. I will back up American diplomacy with a very real and very credible military option. I will restore the regular presence of aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously. I will increase military assistance to Israel and coordination with all of our allies in the region. These actions will send an unequivocal signal to Iran that the United States, acting in concert with allies, will never permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.
Romney doesn’t pull any punches against Obama, blasting him for inaction on the Iranian bomb plot, the initial attempts at diplomacy, and the failure of sanctions. “Barack Obama has shredded his own credibility on Iran, conveyed an image of American weakness, and increased the prospect of a cascade of nuclear proliferation in the unstable Middle East,” he writes.
Romney’s positions on Iran are likely to resonate with voters. Americans support military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, 50 percent to 44 percent, according to an Anti-Defamation League poll released today.