Iran shouldn`t acquire N-arms: US Republicans
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 16:39
Washington: Top Republican presidential hopefuls have unanimously agreed that Iran should not acquire atomic weapons, but did not hold common views on whether the US needs to support Israel in case it attacks Tehran.

Ron Paul said he would not support Israel if it attacks Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, while Herman Cain said he would back the Jewish state, but not before making sure that they had a credible plan for success, clarity of mission and clarity of success.

"Remember, when you talk about attacking Iran, it is a very mountainous region. The latest reports say that there may be 40 different locations, and I would want to make sure that we had a good idea from intelligence sources where these are located," Cain said during a debate.

"If Israel had a credible plan that it appeared as if they could succeed, I would support Israel, yes. And in some instances, depending upon how strong the plan is, we would join with Israel for that, if it was clear what the mission was and it was clear what the definition of victory was," he said.

Paul, in his remarks, said: "No, I wouldn't do that". "But there would be good reasons because I don't expect it to happen. Because, you know, the Mossad leader that just retired said it would be the stupidest thing to do in the world. And it's a big argument over in Israel. They're not about to do this," he said.

"They've just polled 40 major experts on foreign policy here by the National Journal. Not one of them said there should be a unilateral attack on the sites in Iran. So that's not going to happen. And if it did why does Israel need our help? We need to get out of their way. I mean, we interfere with them. When they want to have peace treaties, we tell them what they can do because we buy their allegiance and they sacrifice their sovereignty to us," Paul said.

Then they decide they want to bomb something, that's their business, but they should "suffer the consequences," he said.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, another strong contender for Republican presidential nomination, said that the US needs to sanction the Iranian Central Bank.

"That would be one of the most powerful ways to impact that. As a matter of fact, Congressman Paul, that is what we need to do before we ever start having any conversations about a military strike, is to use every sanction that we have," he said.

"And when you sanction the Iranian Central Bank, that will shut down that economy. At that particular point in time, they truly have to deal with the United States," he argued.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said the US needs a strategy of defeating and replacing the current Iranian regime with minimum use of force.

"We need a strategy of being honest about radical Islam and designing a strategy to defeat it wherever it happens to exist," he said.

Imposing sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank, Gingrich said, is a good idea if one is serious about stopping them having nuclear weapons.

"I think replacing the regime before they get a nuclear weapon without a war beats replacing the regime with war, which beats allowing them to have a nuclear weapon. Those are your three choices," he argued.


First Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 16:39

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