Romney Hints at ‘Red Lines,’ Insists War a Long Way Off

Claims Same Position as Netanyahu, Despite Obvious Differences

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues to try to lay out what he insists is a distinct position on Iran from President Obama, today trying to set out “red lines” and likening his stance to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“My own test is that Iran should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon,” Romney said, but he went on to insist that he believes there is “a long way to go” before that line is crossed.

Which makes his claim of a Netanyahu-style position difficult to swallow, since the Israeli Prime Minister was apparently of a mind to start a war sometime this month before political and diplomatic pressure put the kibosh on it.

In the past Romney has openly faulted President Obama’s position on Iran, but every time he speaks on the matter he lays out a position functionally identical to the incumbent, and it seems that in practice his position is different only rhetorically, and is the “same” as Netanyahu only to the extent he believes cozying up to the Israeli hawk can win him votes.

Today’s “red line” as usual lacked any clarity, as there is no way to decide what constitutes a “capability” to produce a weapon for a nation with an active civilian program and no weapons grade uranium. In theory, virtually any nation with uranium mines and a basic level of technological competence has such a “capability,” but while those seeking to start a war always claim Iran to be mere months from following through on the matter, the simple fact that they aren’t making a nuclear weapon keeps this timetable entirely theoretical.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.