The US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on a visit to Israel has said America has a duty to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
In Jerusalem he declared the city Israel’s “capital” – a comment which drew immediate criticism from Palestinians.
Earlier as he met Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister repeated his belief that against Iran a strong military threat as well as sanctions were needed.
Romney did not go as far as a senior aide, who said the candidate would support an Israeli military strike if all options had been exhausted.
“We should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. We recognise Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with you,” Romney said in a speech in front of the walls of the Old City.
His trip is aimed at boosting his foreign policy credentials in the presidential race.
On Friday Barack Obama signed up to stronger US-Israeli military ties.
Without overtly criticising the president, his rival evidently wanted to portray himself as a greater friend of Israel.