All the Republican candidates have gone after Barack Obama for his handling of the Iranian problem, but if one of them gets elected president, would they really handle things any differently? Writing in The New York Times today, reporter Helene Cooper makes the argument that the answer is 'no.'
For example, Mitt Romney in particular has loudly criticized the president for has called for his Iran approach, flatly stating that they will have a nuclear weapon if Obama is re-elected. So Romney has called for more sanctions and for international pressure to be turned up on Iran, and that a show of force should be made to prove our intentions — all things that have already been done by the current administration. Romney admits that the "existing sanctions have not led the ayatollahs to abandon their nuclear aspirations." So his solution is a fifth round, which would basically be an extension of the current approach.
Romney's website insists that our policy "must begin with an understanding on Iran’s part that a military option to deal with their nuclear program remains on the table," even though President Obama (as he spent most of yesterday trying to reiterate) has never officially taken it off the table. Our aircraft carriers continue to patrol the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and our Navy commanders have insisted that they will keep the waters open to tanker traffic if they have to.