Santorum: We Will Tear Down Iranian Nuclear Facilities

GOP hopeful talks tough on Iran at American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

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Rick Santorum started his Super Tuesday where he hopes to end his Presidential campaign - in Washington.

The former Pennsylvania senator spoke at the Washington Convention Center to the pro-Israel lobby American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), addressing the growing threat of a nuclear Iran and America's strategic alliance with Israel.

[See pictures of the 2012 GOP candidates.]

"We need to put an ultimatum in place," Santorum said. "And we need to be prepared, if that ultimatum is not met, to engage Prime Minister Netanyahu and the people of Israel in an effort to make sure that if they [Iran] do not tear down those facilities, we will tear down them ourselves."

Santorum characterized the Iranian regime as a group of "irrational actors" and described how he spent time in the Senate trying to curb the threat of a nuclear Iran.

[Santorum's Organizational Snafus.]

He served eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and in 2005 he helped author the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which provided $10 million in funding to pro-democracy insurgents in the country before being cut by President Obama. He promised that, if elected, he would reinstate full funding under that act.

The AIPAC conference comes amid growing concerns that Israel might attack Iranian nuclear sites without America's blessing. Yesterday, both President Obama and Netanyahu addressed AIPAC, and they also met for talks at the White House. The President urged Netanyahu to resist strikes and implored him to consider diplomatic measures, but he did not rule out an American military strike against Iran.

Santorum expressed his disagreement with the way the president has handled the threat from Iran.

[U.S., Israeli Military Cooperation Remains Strong.]

"There is a clear, unfortunate, tragic disconnect between how the leaders of the country of Israel and the country of the United States view the exigency of this situation." He accused President Obama of turning his back on Israel.

"Under a Santorum administration, we would find no gap between Israel and the United States because our interests are united in stopping the world from having the radical terrorist administration which governs Iran from having a weapon that would destroy the opportunity for peace and prosperity for the world."

  • Zuckerman: If the U.S. and the World Won't Stop Iran, Israel Will Act Alone.
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  • Read the U.S. News debate: Should the United States Consider Military Action to Hinder Iran's Nuclear Program?