Romney Channels Reagan on Iran, Threatens 'Painful Lessons'

Tuesday, 06 Mar 2012 12:07 PM

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Mitt Romney promises that if elected president he will take America on a different course to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In an Op-Ed published in today’s Washington Post, the former Massachusetts governor likens President Barack Obama to President Jimmy Carter during the hostage crisis over 30 years ago.

“Running for the presidency against Carter . . . Ronald Reagan made it crystal clear that the Iranians would pay a very stiff price for continuing their criminal behavior,” Romney wrote. “On Jan. 20, 1981, in the hour that Reagan was sworn into office, Iran released the hostages. The Iranians well understood that Reagan was serious about turning words into action in a way that Jimmy Carter never was.

“America and the world face a strikingly similar situation today; only even more is at stake. The same Islamic fanatics who took our diplomats hostage are racing to build a nuclear bomb. Barack Obama, America’s most feckless president since Carter, has declared such an outcome unacceptable, but his rhetoric has not been matched by an effective policy.”

Romney promises that as president, he “would move America in a different direction.”

“The overall rubric of my foreign policy will be the same as Ronald Reagan’s: namely, ‘peace through strength.’ Like Reagan, I have put forward a comprehensive plan to rebuild American might and equip our soldiers with the weapons they need to prevail in any conflict.

"By increasing our annual naval shipbuilding rate from nine to 15, I intend to restore our position so that our Navy is an unchallengeable power on the high seas. Just as Reagan sought to defend the United States from Soviet weapons with his Strategic Defense Initiative, I will press forward with ballistic missile defense systems to ensure that Iranian and North Korean missiles cannot threaten us or our allies.”

Romney added that in addition to pressing for more sanctions and speaking out for democracy in Iran, he will “buttress” his diplomacy with a “military option that will persuade the ayatollahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions.
“Only when they understand that at the end of that road lies not nuclear weapons but ruin will there be a real chance for a peaceful resolution,” he wrote.

Romney concluded that “we certainly can’t afford to wait through four more years of an Obama administration. By then it will be far too late.

“If the Iranians are permitted to get the bomb, the consequences will be as uncontrollable as they are horrendous. My foreign policy plan to avert this catastrophe is plain: Either the ayatollahs will get the message, or they will learn some very painful lessons about the meaning of American resolve.”

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