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Rand Paul, Who Says He Opposes Iran Deal, Once Said Iran Wasn’t A National Security Threat

"I find it hard to believe that a country that can't refine their gas is somehow a threat to our national security," Paul said during his father's 2008 presidential campaign.

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During the Fox News presidential debate Thursday night, Rand Paul said he opposes the Iran nuclear deal and would vote against it in the Senate.

"I oppose the Iranian deal and will vote against it," the Kentucky senator said Thursday night.

"I would have never released the sanctions before there was consistent evidence of compliance," Paul added.

Paul also told radio host Mark Levin earlier this month he supports using military force if Iran is building nukes.

His willingness to use military force against Iran and his opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal stand his contrast to his position on Iran while serving as a surrogate for his dad in 2007 and 2008, when Paul said Iran didn't pose a threat to our national security.

At a 2007 campaign event for his father's presidential campaign, Paul said we shouldn't go to war with Iran if they got a nuclear weapon. Paul said bombing Iran would be a terrible decision with "collateral damage."

"If they should get a nuclear weapon, I don't think we have to go to war with Iran," Paul said. 'Here's another thing about Iran, which I think is another great point, Iran can't even refine their own gasoline. Iran imports their gasoline from Europe and we are so worried about them building a nuclear weapon that we think that we have to bomb them."

Here's video of that exchange:

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"I find it hard to believe that a country that can't refine their gas is somehow a threat to our national security," Paul said at a another 2008 campaign event for his father in Montana. In a 2007 interview with radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Paul said that Iran wasn't a threat to the U.S. or Israel, citing estimates that Israel already has 100 nuclear weapons.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

Mark Arce is a politics research intern for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mark Arce at Mark.Arce@buzzfeed.com.

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