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."