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Mitt Romney will pledge to Israel today that he would help protect the country from an Iran armed with nuclear weapons, as he seeks to show the U.S. ally that his administration would be aggressive in helping its friends.
"My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away and neither will my country," Romney will say, according to speech excerpts released by his campaign.
"The regime in Iran is five years closer to developing nuclear weapons capability," Romney will say. "Preventing that outcome must be our highest national security priority."
Ahead of the Republican presidential candidate's remarks in Jerusalem's Old City, campaign adviser Dan Senor told reporters that Romney would back an Israeli military strike against Iran if necessary to thwart the company's nuclear weapons development.
Last week, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Romney called on Iran to fully suspend any enrichment of uranium.
"If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision," Senor said.
Romney today also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres. The Israel trip is the second leg of Romney's foreign trip, aimed at boosting his foreign policy bona fides in the midst of a close and sometimes bitter presidential campaign.
Romney has repeatedly criticized President Obama for his handling of the U.S. relationship with Israel and for not doing enough to push back on Iran. The Obama administration has been dealing with Iran through sanctions and diplomacy, but hasn't ruled out a military option.