July 30, 2012
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The Republican candidate Mitt Romney gave an address in Jerusalem, which vowed that America would respect any decsision made by Israel, should talks with Teheran fail. He emphasized that Israel has the right to defend itself against an Iran that possesses nuclear weapons and that it is right for the United States to stand at Israel's side. Israels' right to a pre-emptive strike would be respected, he underlined.
"When Iran’s leaders deny the Holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map, only the naïve – or worse – will dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric. Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way.
My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away; and neither will my country. As Prime Minister Begin put it, in vivid and haunting words, “if an enemy of [the Jewish] people says he seeks to destroy us, believe him.”
He emphasized that Israel's security is the highest priority for the United States. To prevent Teheran from building a nuclear weapon has to be our highest national security goal, he said.
Romney also addressed the turmoil in Syria and the presence of Hezbolah in Lebanon and the Gaza strip. He received a standing ovation for his address.
Text of Romney's Address in Jerusalem
Thank you for that kind introduction, Mayor Barkat, and thank you all for that warm welcome. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be in Israel again.
To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land. The Jewish people persisted through one of the most monstrous crimes in human history, and now this nation has come to take its place among the most impressive democracies on earth. Israel’s achievements are a wonder of the modern world.
These achievements are a tribute to the resilience of the Israeli people. You have managed, against all odds, time and again throughout your history, to persevere, to rise up, and to emerge stronger. Full Text The Times of Israel
The United Nations have attempted to convince Teheran to give up the pursuit for nuclear weapons but Iran has found ways to circumvent the embargo. Talks with Teheran are not expected to result in anything tangible and some pundits maintain that the talks have only given Teheran an opportunity to move its nuclear research facilities deeper into the ground.
President Obama has also stated that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is unacceptable. The President left all options on the table, including military intervention. His relationship with Israel, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is viewed as complicated. The President has not visited Israel during his first term in office. On Tuesday US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is expected to arrive in Israel.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday that there is a very close relationship between Israel and the current US Administration. According to the newspaper, Tom Donilon, President Obama's Security Advisor was in Israel two weeks ago to apprise Israel of plans for a possible attack should it be necessary.
Mitt Romney's foreign travel is intended to raise his foreign policy profile. During his trip to London, the British tabloids had a hayday for his comments regarding the security of the Olympic games.
More entries: Mitt Romney's Address in Jerusalem Full Text