Republican Presidential hopefuls on Tuesday evening supported putting more pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear program, but tread cautiously on whether to help if Israel decides to bomb Iran.
Out of the eight GOP candidates debating Tuesday night in Washington D.C. on national security, only businessman Hermain Cain said he would help Israel should he find its plan poised to succeed, if he is President of the United States.
Romney did say that he favors "crippling sanctions" and indicting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations for inciting genocide.
"The right course in America is to stand up to Iran with crippling sanctions, indict Ahmadinejad for violating the Geneva - or the genocide convention, put in place the kind of crippling sanctions that stop their economy.”
“I know it's going to make gasoline more expensive,There's no price which is worth an Iranian nuclear weapon. And the right course is to show that we care about Israel, that they are our friend; we'll stick with them".
Mitt Romney also promised that his first trip, if he is president, will be to Israel:
“My first foreign trip will be to Israel, to show the world we care about that country and that region,”
Newt Gingrich was asked if he would take military action against Iran, and said he would with one caveat: it would have to lead to regime change.
“no bombing campaign in Iran that leaves the regime in place would be useful.”
“Replacing the regime before they get a nuclear weapon without a war beats replacing the regime with war, which beats allowing them to have a nuclear weapon."
"If my choice was to collaborate with the Israelis on a conventional campaign or force them to use their nuclear weapons, it would be an extraordinarily dangerous world if out of a sense of being abandoned they went nuclear and used multiple nuclear weapons in Iran. That would be a future none of us would want to live through."On the question of the Arab Spring, Mr Huntsman said the US "did itself a dis-service" by acting too soon in Libya.
"We've got Syria now on the horizon, where we do have [an] American interest. It's called Israel. We're a friend and ally. They're a friend and ally. We need to remind the world what it means to be a friend and ally of the United States".
"Our interests in the Middle East is Israel and preventing from Iran from going nuclear," he said.“And we have nuclearization in Iran, centrifuges spinning. At some point they're going to have enough in the way of fissile material out of which to make a weapon. That's a certainty. Sanctions aren't going to work, because the Chinese aren't going to play ball. And the Russians aren't going to play ball, and I believe the mullahs have already decided they want to go nuclear."
Texas Governor Rick Perry said:
“If we're going to be serious about saving Israel, we better get serious about Syria and Iran, and we better get serious right now."Perry said that the U.S. needs to sanction the Iranian central bank. “What we need to do before we ever start having any conversations about a military strike, is to use every sanction that we have. And if you sanction the Iranian central bank, it will shut down that economy."