Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich said at the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina on Saturday night that they would be willing to go to war to keep Iran from attaining nuclear weapons if all other strategies failed.
In response to the moderators question over the IAEA report on Iran, The Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney took a clear stance on the issue, and addressed it as a failure of the Obama administrations foreign policy:
"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 faces-- 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 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-- what-- what 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 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.
"If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if you elect Mitt Romney, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon, If all else fails, if after all the work we’ve done there’s nothing else we can do besides take military action, then of course you take military action,”
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."
Gingrich echoed Romney's answer, saying, "You have to take whatever steps are necessary ... There are a number of ways to be smart about Iran, and a few ways to be stupid. The administration skipped all the ways to be smart."