By Paul Mutter
The National Review Online has run an advance copy of the foreign policy speech GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will give today in Virginia. In it, the former governor is expected to lay out his “red lines” for Iran that will be closer to Congress and the Israeli government’s position than the Obama Administration’s. Romney has expressed differing red lines on Iran in the past. Romney is also expected to express support for US arming of Syrian rebels:
It is time to change course in the Middle East. . . .
I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear-weapons capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran, and will tighten the sanctions we currently have. I will restore the permanent presence of aircraft-carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region—and work with Israel to increase our military assistance and coordination. For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions—not just words—that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.
…. In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran—rather than sitting on the sidelines. It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East.