In High Holiday Conference Call with Rabbis Mitt Romney Clarifies His Red Lines on Iran, Calls for Ahmadinejad Indictment
In a High Holidays conference call for American rabbis held this evening, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outlined his Red Lines on Iran, called for Iranian President Ahmadinejad to be indicted, and for the U.S. to treat Iran as it did apartheid South Africa.
“For me the red line is nuclear capability. We do not want them to have the capacity of building a bomb that threatens ourselves, our friends, or the world,” said Romney, responding to a question from Rabbi Efrem Goldberg who asked, “your good friend Prime Minister Netanyahu says that the international community needs to draw a red line for Iran, do you agree that a red line needs to be drawn and where would you draw it?”
In this position Romney appears to have departed from a comment he made recently to ABC News’ George Stephanopolulos. When asked a similar question he said, “My red line is Iran may not have a nuclear weapon.” Stephanopolulos writes, “I pointed out that President Obama also says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and asked Romney if he therefore has the same “red line” as Obama? “Yes,” Romney said. The difference, Romney says, is what he would do to keep Iran from reaching the line.”
Romney further called for the implementation of a June 2007 House of Representatives resolution that called upon the United Nations Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad with violating the Genocide Convention by his repeated calls for Israel to be annihilated.”I think we should indict Ahmedinejad under the Genocide Convention for incitation to genocide, I think that he, and I think the diplomats of Iran should be treated like the pariah they are anywhere they go in the world, I believe that they should be treated the same way we treated South Africa during apartheid,” said Romney. To date, no international legal proceedings for incitement to genocide have moved forward against the Iranian President according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The former Governor spoke about the importance of sanctions as well, but expressed doubts over their capacity to bring an end to Iran’s nuclear program, saying, “sanctions are having an impact on their economy, unfortunately they have taken so long to be put in place, that I think Iran is racing forward with their nuclear plans saying, hey we can hold our breath with the tough economy for a year or two, I argued for these having been put in place 5 years ago, in which case Iran would really have been brought to its knees.”
Romney stressed the importance of highlighting the close relationship between the United States and Israel, saying, “they (the Iranians) must understand that America is going to stand by friends, that it is better to be a friend of America than to be a foe of America, and I think that means that our relationship with Israel should be one which the world sees as being extraordinarily close, where we share objectives.” In an apparent swipe at President Obama’s Israel policies, he added, “if per chance there are disagreements, we keep those disagreements to ourselves and in private as opposed to airing them out in public.”
Other steps Romney called for to be taken to combat the Iranian threat, included supporting voices of dissent inside Iran both vocally and covertly, and clearly communicating the possibility of military action that may be taken against Iran, “I believe that we should communicate that we are preparing to take military action if necessary,” he said.
Romney opened the call with New Year wishes, telling the listeners, “my very best wishes for a sweet new year.”