A top Romney aide, Dan Senor, also indicated that Romney would “respect” an Israeli decision to take unilateral military action against Iran.
Mitt Romney’s campaign has repeatedly cited Netanyahu’s words as part of an effort to paint the president’s strategy for keeping Tehran from getting nuclear weapons as a failure and attack him as insufficiently supportive of Israel.
"We have to be honest and say that all the diplomacy and sanctions so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota," he told Romney.
Mitt Romney seeks to assure Israel and Iran, as well as Jewish voters in the United States, that he will be tougher against Iran's nuclear ambitions than President Barack Obama. So far, though, the main differences on the issue between the presumptive Republican nominee and the president he hopes to defeat in the November election involve tone and nuance more than substance.
The candidate specifically cited Russia's role in Syria and in international sanctions, saying it "has been slow to move to the kinds of sanctions that have been called for in Iran.
Mitt Romney fired the first shot while speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, accusing the president of “undermining” Israel and citing the Islamic Republic as the world’s greatest threat.
The announcement comes on the heels of Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel, where he vowed to employ “any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course.”
A spokesman for Mr. Romney, Ryan Williams, said in a statement released after the sanctions were announced that Mr. Obama’s reluctance to confront Iran “has imperiled our allies and jeopardized our national security.”
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams cited Netanyahu's comments in saying that Obama "has allowed Iran's nuclear ambitions to proceed unimpeded. ... The president's refusal to take a tough stance when it comes to Iran has imperiled our allies and jeopardized our national security."
Romney wanted to enact tough sanctions years ago (for example at the Herzliya Conference five years ago), “impose diplomatic isolation” on Iran’s leaders and make credible the potential for a military option. “Diplomatic isolation should also include an indictment of Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide under the Geneva Convention.”)
Sanctions are not ends in themselves. They are intended to persuade Iran to change course and abandon its nuclear program. President Obama deserves credit for pushing for a fourth round of international sanctions on Iran early in his term, just as before him President Bush deserved credit for the three previous rounds.