Mitt Romney, in his foreign policy speech to the Virginia Military Institute on Monday, sided with Israel when it came to drawing a red line on Iran’s nuclear program.
“I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability,” Romney said.
In contrast, Obama has repeatedly drawn the red line at Iran actually acquiring nuclear weapons themselves, as he did before the United Nations last month: “(T)hat’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
The line Romney drew is the one drawn by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, because once Iran enriches enough uranium to have the “capability” to make nuclear weapons, it’s only a matter of taking a few remaining steps to manufacture weapons.
At other points in the speech, Romney attacked Obama’s policy of creating “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. As the Washington Post reported, Obama told Jewish leaders a few months into his presidency, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.”
Today, Romney said, “The relationship between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel, our closest ally in the region, has suffered great strains. The President explicitly stated that his goal was to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel. And he has succeeded. This is a dangerous situation that has set back the hope of peace in the Middle East and emboldened our mutual adversaries, especially Iran.