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U.S. has "solemn duty" to stop nuclear Iran: presidential candidate

(Xinhua)

08:04, July 30, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjiamin Netanyahu (R) holds talks with visiting U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Jerusalem, on July 29, 2012. Romney arrived in Israel Saturday night for a brief visit that is widely seen aimed at wooing the votes of Jews in the upcoming elections. (Xinhua/Pool/Lior Mizrahi)

JERUSALEM, July 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is on a visit to Israel, on Sunday stressed the need to deter Iran's nuclear program and talked about "shared values" between Israel and the United States.

Romney, who is running in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, gave a speech in Jerusalem and emphasized that the United States has "a solemn duty and a moral imperative" to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weaponry.

"Make no mistake, the ayatollahs in Iran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object and who will look the other way," Romney said.

"We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel," he added, saying that Israel and the U.S. have "shared values."

Although supporting economic and diplomatic sanctions against Iran, Romney said that no options should be excluded.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed with Romney's speech about Iran.

"I heard what you said about the dangers the world is facing if the Ayatollah regime obtains nuclear power capabilities and I fully agree with you," Netanyahu said.

"We have to do everything from preventing them to possess this capability. The diplomacy and the sanctions haven't set back the Iranian program back by one iota."

Romney said he wanted to hear Netanyahu's perspective on the issue and discuss "further options" in preventing Iran from reaching that ability.

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