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The Centerpiece of Romney's Critique of Obama: Iran

4:22 PM, Nov 22, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Jon Ward has a piece in the Huffington Post that details Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's foreign policy critique of President Obama. The focus is primarily on Iran.

In fact, the campaign recently decided to make Iran the centerpiece of their foreign policy strategy, believing it to be the most sensible point of attack, as well as a potent counterpoint to the inevitable Obama campaign boasts about bin Laden and Libya.

"Iran is a unique kind of threat," said Daniel Senor, one of Romney's close foreign policy advisers, in an interview conducted over the phone and via e-mail. "It directly and unambiguously threatens core American interests: the security of the American homeland, the security of our access to vital resources in the Gulf and the security of America's close ally, Israel."

Campaigns often have a slogan that encapsulates their foreign policy stance. For the Romney campaign, Iran is the bumper sticker. Their argument on almost every aspect of foreign policy -- China is a clear exception, because it is in a different part of the world and presents a unique set of challenges -- flows from the premise that Obama's failure to slow or stop Tehran's steady march toward a nuclear weapon has made the world more dangerous.

"The administration's sanctions policies are unlikely to stop Iran's progress toward acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran is unlikely to enter serious negotiations toward a resolution of this problem," Senor said. "As we've learned from the [International Atomic Energy Agency] report, the overall trajectory will almost certainly not change."

As Ward notes, Romney made his case clear in a recent foreign policy debate: "If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you'd like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon."  

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