Santorum Pledges to Bomb Iran on Eve of GOP Iowa CaucusesWorld | January 2, 2012, Monday // 10:33| views
One of the bidders for the GOP nomination Rick Santorum has pledged to bomb Iran if that is to keep the Persian nation from acquiring nuclear weapons. File photo
As the race for the US Republican Party nomination has tightened, one of the candidates, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has pledged readiness to bomb Iran to keep the Persian nation from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"Iran will not get a nuclear weapon under my watch," Santorum said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, following the announcement by Iranian scientists of the production of the country's first nuclear fuel rod.
Santorum's statement comes a day ahead of the Republican caucuses in Iowa, the first American state to decide on its favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, where he is falling Mitt Romney and Ron Paul but catching up, according to polls.
Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann are also in the race, while former Utah governor and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, the other major Republican candidate, is not competing in Iowa but instead focusing his efforts on New Hampshire, which votes a week after Iowa.
Rick Santorum has vowed to ensure that Iran cannot produce a nuclear weapon if he is elected president. He said he would authorize air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities unless the country opens them up to inspectors.
With Ron Paul's rise to the top tier in Iowa, rivals have attacked his noninterventionist views on foreign policy and less aggressive stance on Iran's nuclear program.
The West, led by the United States, suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic insists it needs nuclear power only for civilian purposes. Iran is already the subject of a wide range of international sanctions.
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