Following Mitt Romney’s arrival in Israel on Saturday it has been reported Sunday that Romney would support military action by Israel against Iran.A senior aide, Dan Senor, told press that Governor Romney, the Republican Party presidential candidate, would support Israel if it felt that it had to take military action against Iran over it’s nuclear programme; Romney ‘would respect that decision’.
CNN’s have reported that Romney’s upcoming speech at his Jerusalem fundraiser will include the following, intended to be a warning:
‘Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way.’
It is not clear whether the governor’s support for Israeli actions would include military assistance, although he has previously voiced his support for military action against the Islamic Republic.
Western governments are concerned that Iran’s nuclear plan’s are intended to develop weapons grade material despite repeated insistence by Iranian government officials that it’s goals are only to enrich uranium to the levels required to facilitate domestic power stations.
In 2010 activist media footage was released on the popular video site Youtube of protests in the Iranian capital of Tehran, with demonstrators chanting slogans against nuclear proliferation.
Right wing commentators have been critical of the current U.S. administration, saying that they are not applying enough pressure against Iran, while being too critical of Israel.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, author of the blog Right Turn, has stated that it is Washington’s ‘worst kept secret’ that President Obama was against sanctions against Iran in the first place, and is subsequently hampering attempts to intensify their effect.
Footage and photos have been released by individuals in Iran through social networking sites showing long queues of Iranian citizens waiting for subsidised food, and videos of protests against the increasing price of foodstuffs.
Prices of foodstuffs have risen dramatically in 2012 due to the application of sanctions, spearheaded by the U.S. and U.K. Furthermore reports have surfaced of increasing prejudice against Iranians living in Western nations, with Iranian residents of Canada have had bank accounts frozen by TD Bank for no reason other than their nationality. American computer giants came under fire after widespread media coverage of the case of Iranian-American Sahar Sabet who was refused service in an Apple Store in the U.S. after she spoke Farsi to a relative.
Left wing commentators have expressed their fears that the actions of the U.S. mirror those taken against Iraq during the 1990s that lead to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
During the 1990s Western governments applied sanctions to Iraq in attempts to destabilise the regime of Saddam Hussein. Observers noted that the sanctions on Iraq had devastating effects on Iraq’s economy and led to a sharp decline in health amongst Iraq’s civilian population, including pandemic diarrhoea amongst Iraq’s children, whom made up approximately 50% of the population.
Reports surfaced that infant mortality sharply increased in the period of the sanctions, 1990 – 2003, with UNICEF and others estimating that approximately 500,000 children under the age of five died as a direct result of the application of sanctions.
In related news, American members of the press have expressed criticism of Romney’s decision to ban reporters from his fundraising event in Jerusalem. The ban breaks convention that presidential candidates must allow press to cover all their events during their campaign held in public venues. At this time it is unclear whether Israeli news outlets will be allowed to cover the events, with reports conflicting.
Romney’s international tour began in the U.K. this week where the presidential hopeful made a number of errors. Romney forgot the name of opposition leader Ed Miliband of the Labour Party, calling him ‘Mr. Leader’ and spoke to press about the details of his meeting with senior members of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6. Convention holds that details of such meetings are not discussed in public. Romney also criticised the running of the Summer Olympics, currently under way London, only to flip flop on the issue several hours later.