2012 Presidential Election

The Major Issues: Side-by-Side Analysis

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President Obama has been clear that he is determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States gained the support of China, Russia, and other nations to pass the most comprehensive international sanctions regime that Iran has ever faced.

The President also worked with Congress to pass the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Divestment Act, and signed additional sanctions hitting Iran’s central bank and oil revenues.

President Obama has repeatedly affirmed that the United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He said he will “take no options off the table” in achieving that goal, including “a military effort.” He has said repeatedly that he does not have a “policy of containment,” but rather a “policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

- Barack Obama Official Website

The President is committed to using all instruments of national power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. When President Obama took office, Iran was ascendant in the region, and the international community was divided over how to address Iran’s nuclear violations ... . Working with our European allies and with Russia and China, the administration gained unprecedented agreement for the toughest ever UN sanctions against Iran, laying the foundation for additional national financial and energy sanctions imposed by the United States and other nations. As a result, Iran is now increasingly isolated and the regime faces crippling economic pressure.

President Obama believes that a diplomatic outcome remains the best and most enduring solution. At the same time, he has also made clear that the window for diplomacy will not remain open indefinitely and that all options – including military force – remain on the table.

- Democratic Party Platform 2012

Mitt Romney believes that it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon.

As Iran’s ballistic missile capacity improves, it will endanger Europe and eventually the continental United States. It will provoke an arms race [in the Arab World]. The result will be a nightmarish cascade of nuclear tensions in the world's most volatile region. Iran’s sponsorship of international terrorism would take on a new and terrifying dimension.

Romney’s strategy will be to end Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, eliminate the threat of Iranian nuclear terrorism against the United States and our allies, and prevent nuclear proliferation across the Middle East.

Mitt Romney holds that the United States supports the emergence of a democratic alternative to the current repressive and reckless regime in Tehran. He would work to improve the flow of information to the Iranian population about its own government’s repressive activities.

- Mitt Romney Official Website

Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability threatens America, Israel, and the world. That threat has only become worse during the current Administration. A continuation of its failed engagement policy with Iran will lead to nuclear cascade.

In solidarity with the international community, America must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability ... The [Iranian] regime ... exports terror and provided weapons that killed our troops in Iraq. We affirm the unanimous resolution of the U.S. Senate calling for “a representative and responsive democratic government that respects human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.”

- Republican Party Platform 2012

"Tthe entire world has an interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the non-proliferation regime that we've doen so much to build."

- Barack Obama (March 4, 2012)

"In a Romney administration, the world will know ... that our opposition to a nuclear Iran is absolute. We must not allow Iran to have the bomb or the capacity to make a bomb. Our enemies should never doubt our resolve."

- Mitt Romney (March 6, 2012)

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