DHAKA: US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered a foreign policy speech in Jerusalem, saying it was a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, `the capital of Israel`.
Romney stated that not only did Israel and the US hold shared interests, the two countries hold `shared values`, despite the 5000 miles between them.
Addressing Iran, Romney said that the US has a `solemn duty` not to let Iran`s leaders act on their malevolent intentions toward Israel.
He stated that history teaches that when despotic regimes secure weapons, peace gives way to violence.
Romney added that while he hopes diplomatic measures and economic sanctions will stop Iran`s nuclear drive, no option should be excluded to stop a nuclear Iran.
Romney called Israel`s security a `vital national interest` of the US.
`Israel must defend itself and it is right for us to stand with you`, said Romney.
In what appeared to be veiled criticism of US President Barack Obama, Romney said that standing by Israel meant more than just providing military aid.
He said that the diplomatic distance between the US and Israel serves to embolden Israel`s enemies.
BDST: 0207 HRS, JUL 30, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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