Iran Nuclear Program is Major Talking Point in US Election

Guita Aryan

Iran’s nuclear program has been at the forefront of challenges faced by four U.S. administrations. The issue has been a major talking point for both major candidates of the 2012 presidential elections. Republican candidate, Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama as being too soft. But, the Obama Administration disputes that claim and says the international sanctions imposed and enforced on Iran were led by Washington.

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, does not believe President Obama has done enough to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.


“I think from the very beginning, one of the challenges we’ve had with Iran is that they have looked at this administration and felt that the administration was not as strong as it needed to be.  I think they saw weakness where they had expected to find American strength," he said.

During the third and last debate, President Obama defended his performance.

“As long as I am the President of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. I made that clear when I came into office.  We then organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history, and it is crippling their economy.  Their currency has dropped 80 percent.  Their oil production has plunged to the lowest level since they were fighting a war with Iraq 20 years ago.  So their economy is in shambles," he said. 

Obama’s challenger believes there is more the U.S. should do.

“I’d take on diplomatic isolation efforts.  I’d make sure that Ahmadinejad is indicted under the genocide convention.  His words amount to genocide in citation.  I would indict him for it.  I would also make sure that their diplomats are treated like the pariah they are around the world," said Romney. 

Governor Romney is referring to the remarks of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel.

Both candidates believe that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat to U.S. national interests. Ari Ratner, a Principal at the Truman Project on National Security, says, by nature, American foreign policy is bipartisan, and preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is a clear example.

“American National interests don’t change so much from one administration to another. A lot of this (Romney's critique of Obama) is bluster, desire to look tough," he said. 

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and has no military component. But Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, says the agency needs clarifications in 12 areas before it can confirm Iran’s claim. 

While the American candidates spar over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is losing patience with Washington’s approach.

“These sanctions are hitting the Iran economy hard, they haven’t yet rolled back the Iranian ((nuclear)) program. We’ll know that they are achieving their goal when the centrifuges stop spinning and when the Iranian nuclear program is rolled back," he said. 

The United States and its allies have rejected Netanyahu’s demand to set a red line for Iran’s nuclear program. But, at the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu did just that and has said his next course of action will be military strike against Iranian nuclear sites and facilities.

Iran has threatened to retaliate against any country’s attack. Mitt Romney is critical of the Obama administration for not clearly saying that Washington would back Israel if it was attacked. 

But President Obama has made it clear that the U.S. will not abandon its long-time ally. "I will stand with Israel if they are attacked. And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history," he said. 

Speaking to the General Assembly last month, Obama told the world’s leaders that he remains committed to diplomatic, economic and political tools, but would explore what he called the full range of options if Tehran does not bend.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ali Vazir from: Karachi, Pakistan
October 30, 2012 12:16 PM
So nicely commented by the 2 gentlemen that not much is left. Though VOA has disappointed us by making headlines that are only "Voice of Israel", neither the Voice of the World, nor the "Voice of America".

by: Thooj ying from: Middle-East
October 30, 2012 11:23 AM
No one can stopped Iran nuke program, if no bomb now. 100% iran nuke'll go to the terror hand and that day no body can sleep not only Israel, but the next is USA and EU.

by: George from: USA
October 30, 2012 1:05 AM
As for, "Governor Romney is referring to the remarks of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel." This is utterly childish.

So, when has President Ahmadinejad called for the destruction of Israel. It is unbelievable that people still repeat this ridiculous myth. It is all based on a mis-translation of a single sentence in 2005. How long are people going to drag on this silly lie?

by: Prof. Taheri from: Manchester, UK
October 30, 2012 12:27 AM
The details of an Israeli attack on Iran are revealed in Jonathan Bloomfield’s award-winning book, “Palestine.”

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs