JERUSALEM — A top aide to Mitt Romney argued that failing to talk about a military option against Iran is contributing to the stalled negotiations, saying that the threat of military force must be used as a "lever" to get Iranians to cut a deal.
Dan Senor. the Special Adviser on Foreign Policy to the presumptive Republican nominee, told reporters Sunday morning that Romney's tough talk about the potential for war is meant to further the chances of peace.
"As the governor makes clear in his speech, those who argue that talking about military action is irresponsible are actually those who are making a peaceful solution — a peaceful outcome — less likely," Senor said. "Because the governor believes that at this point the only thing that could focus and force the minds of the Iranian leadership on ending their nuclear weapons, their path to a nuclear weapons capability, is the belief that the alternative is far worse."
In remarks in Jerusalem Sunday night, Romney will seek to stand by Israeli officials as they contemplate their options against a regime committed to their destruction. "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," Romney is expected to say.
Senor also pledged that Romney would support Israel in the event it undertook a unilateral strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
“If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision,” Senor said.
But Senor took pains to say that Romney was not advocating for a strike — but said talking about one provides the best chance of securing peace.
"And so when he talks about the military option — I cant speak for the Obama administration, but for Gov. Romney — when he’s talking about the military option what he’s primarily focused on getting Tehran to understand that if you don’t get a deal, this is where things could be headed directionally," he said.
Romney is spending the day meeting with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders before making remarks on the "enduring alliance" between Israel and the United States.