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Romney Seeks Contrast With Obama on Iran in Israel Speech

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Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Republican Mitt Romney said it would be “unacceptable” for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon and pledged that, if elected president, he would keep all options open to prevent that from happening.

“We have to maintain all options, but Iran going nuclear” would “be unacceptable,” Romney said in an interview broadcast tonight on CBS Evening News.

If Iran does develop nuclear weapons, he said, it would mean there is a possibility terrorist groups could bring “fissile material to our continent.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also said he is concerned about Syria using weapons of mass destruction in the civil strife convulsing that nation.

“We of course have to retain the option of protecting ourselves from weapons of mass destruction,” Romney said. “America has to be ready.”

During a stop in Israel last month, Romney said halting a nuclear Iran is the “highest national-security priority” for the U.S. It’s “right” for America to back a unilateral Israeli military strike on Iran to stop the country from developing nuclear capabilities, he said then.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Rubin in Washington at jimrubin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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