Third presidential debate: Mitt Romney on Israel & Iran

Edited by Jenny Jiang

Excerpts from the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida on Oct. 22, 2012

Transcript of Gov. Mitt Romney’s remarks on Israel and Iran: 

Well, first of all, I want to underscore the same point the president mad,e which is that if I’m President of the United States, when I’m President of the United States, we will stand with Israel.

And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily. That’s number one.

Number two, with regards to Iran and the threat of Iran, there’s no question but that a nuclear Iran, a nuclear-capable Iran is unacceptable to America. It presents a threat not only to our friends but ultimately a threat to us to have Iran have nuclear material, nuclear weapons that could be used against us or used to be threatening to us.

It is also essential for us to understand what our mission is in Iran, and that is to dissuade Iran from having a nuclear weapon through peaceful and diplomatic means. And crippling sanctions are something I called for five years ago, when I was in Israel, speaking at the Herzliya Conference. I laid out 7 steps, crippling sanctions were number one. And they do work. You’re seeing it right now in the economy. It’s absolutely the right thing to do, to have crippling sanctions. I would have put them in place earlier. But it’s good that we have them.

Number two, something I would add today is I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil, can’t come into our ports. I imagine the E.U. would agree with us as well. Not only ships couldn’t, but I’d say companies that are moving their oil can’t, people who are trading in their oil can’t. I would tighten those sanctions further.

Secondly, I’d take on diplomatic isolation efforts. I’d make sure that Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention. His words amount to genocide incitation. I would indict him for it. I would also make sure that their diplomats are treated like the pariah they are around the world. The same way we treated the apartheid diplomats of South Africa.

We need to increase pressure time, and time again on Iran because anything other than a — a — a solution to this, which says — which stops this — this nuclear folly of theirs, is unacceptable to America. And of course, a military action is the last resort. It is something one would only – only consider if all of the other avenues had been — had been tried to their full extent.

Moderator Bob Schieffer: What if — what if the prime minister of Israel called you on the phone and said, “Our bombers are on the way. We’re going to bomb Iran.”

What do you —

Gov. Mitt Romney: Bob, let’s not go into hypotheticals of that nature. Our relationship with Israel, my relationship with the prime minister of Israel is such that we would not get a call saying our bombers are on the way, or their fighters are on the way. This is the kind of thing that would have been discussed and thoroughly evaluated well before that kind of —


Moderator Bob Schieffer: So you’d say it just wouldn’t happen?


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One Comment on “Third presidential debate: Mitt Romney on Israel & Iran

  1. Pingback: Third presidential debate transcript: Gov. Mitt Romney's remarks on Syria | What The Folly?!

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