"For years, I have been warning of Iran's nuclear ambitions and proposing specific steps to thwart them. It is now clear that our window of opportunity to stop the Iranian nuclear nightmare is quickly closing. To convince Iran to end its nuclear program peacefully, I call on President Obama to impose crippling economic sanctions on the Iranian regime, support the Iranian dissidents, and convey through actions -- not just words -- that the military option is very real and very credible. The Iranian regime only understands strength. We can no longer afford President Obama's policy of trepidation, ineptitude, and weakness toward Iran. The United States must show leadership on the world stage, and do so now, to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power." -- Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney believes it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon. For years, Mitt Romney has warned of Iran's nuclear ambitions and proposed specific steps to thwart the ayatollahs' nuclear program. A nuclear-armed Iran will tilt the entire geostrategic landscape of the Middle East toward the ayatollahs, pose an existential threat to Israel, endanger Europe and eventually endanger the continental United States. It may provoke a nightmarish cascade across the Middle East and give Iran's sponsorship of terrorism a new and terrifying dimension.
As president, Mitt Romney will adopt a comprehensive strategy to end Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon and eliminate these threats.
Demonstrate a Credible Military Option:
Mitt Romney will make clear to the Iranian regime through actions -- not just words -- that a military option to deal with its nuclear program remains on the table. Only if Iran understands that the United States is determined that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable will there be any possibility that Iran will give up its nuclear aspirations peacefully.
* Restore Aircraft Carrier Task Force Presence: Mitt Romney will restore the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously.
* Increase Military Cooperation with Israel: Mitt Romney will repair relations with Israel, increase military coordination and assistance, and enhance intelligence sharing to ensure that our allied capabilities are robust and ready to deal with Iran.
* Increase Military Cooperation with Arab Allies: Mitt Romney will increase military coordination with our Arab allies in the region and conduct more naval exercises as a demonstration of strength and resolve.
Implement Crippling Economic Sanctions:
The current regime of sanctions has not been effective in pressuring the Iranian regime. Mitt Romney will therefore increase economic pressure on Iran.
* Implement a Fifth Round of Economic Sanctions: Mitt Romney will implement a fifth round of sanctions targeted at the financial resources that underpin the Iranian regime and its Revolutionary Guard Corps. He will do so through the United Nations if possible, unilaterally if necessary. Sanctions will target the Central Bank of Iran and other financial institutions. They will also be placed on all business activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which include much of Iran's petroleum industry. To stanch the flow of the petroleum commerce that supports the Iranian regime, Mitt Romney will pursue sanctions on firms that transport such products to and from Iran.
* Bolster Enforcement of U.S. Law: Mitt Romney will step up enforcement of existing U.S. laws that bar commerce with Iran, such as the exportation of refined petroleum products to Iran.
Isolate the Regime from the World and the Iranian People:
* Increase Diplomatic Isolation of Iran: Mitt Romney will push nations to deny Iran's Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the trappings and respect offered to responsible national leaders. Mitt Romney will push for Ahmadinejad's indictment under Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in light of Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.
* Support Iranian Dissidents: Unlike President Obama, who refrained from supporting the nascent Green Movement in 2009 as it was facing a violent crackdown, Mitt Romney will support the emergence of a democratic alternative to the current repressive regime in Tehran. He will work to improve the flow of information to the Iranian population about its own government's repressive activities and refuse to stand silent while the Iranian regime ruthlessly terrorizes its own people.
Commit to the On-Time Completion of a Fully Capable Missile Defense System:
The United States and our European and Middle Eastern allies have a vital interest in establishing a fully operational and effective missile defense system in Eastern Europe to create a protective umbrella against Iranian nuclear weapons. Under pressure from Russia, President Obama early in his term scrapped President Bush's missile defense plan in favor of a plan that featured a longer development timeline and technologies yet-to-be developed. As president, Mitt Romney will commit to Obama's plan, but with the following two qualifications.
* Reserve Option of Faster Deployment: Mitt Romney will reserve the option of reverting to President Bush's original plan of deploying proven interceptor technology if Iran is making faster progress on developing long range missiles than the Obama plan assumes or if the new technologies on which the plan relies fail to materialize in a timely fashion.
* Refuse Russian Attempts to Compromise the System: Mitt Romney will make clear that while he is willing to cooperate with Russia on missile defense in ways that will enhance the overall effectiveness of the missile-defense system, he will not compromise the capability of the system or yield operational control of it. Mitt Romney will never give Russia a veto over our security and that of our allies.