Obama administration: Iran talks preferable to war
October 22nd, 2012
01:47 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama administration: Iran talks preferable to war

(CNN) - Expect President Barack Obama to use the final presidential debate Monday night to question how Governor Mitt Romney would handle foreign policy differently than his administration has and prod him over whether he would keep the country in "endless" war.

According to Obama aides, look for the president to press Romney to explain whether he'd quickly enter into a military conflict with Iran, invest U.S. resources in Syria and keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan indefinitely.

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Regarding reports that the US may engage Iran in one-on-one talks about their nuclear program after the election, the White House believes it would be irresponsible to refuse to talk to Iran and then have a military conflict, an Obama administration official tells CNN. But this same aide says the president believes there's time and space for diplomacy, and sanctions are designed to pressure Iran to come back to the table.

After the fireworks at the last debate over the security situation in Benghazi and the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, expect that issue to be front and center Monday night as well.

Multiple administration officials have maintained all along that the president was telling the public just what he was learning about the Benghazi attack from the intelligence community. These officials say his story didn't change until the intelligence formally changed.

Filed under: 2012 • Iran • President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Abby!

    I dedicate the following quite to Willard. “I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” – George McGovern

    October 22, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    sorry, edit:

    Former chief of Israel’s intelligence service Mossad, Efraim Halevy, on Mitt Romney in an interview with Laura Rozen:

    "Negotiating with Iran is perceived as a sign of beginning to forsake Israel. That is where I think the basic difference is between Romney and Obama. WHAT ROMNEY IS DOING IS MORTALLY DESTROYING ANY CHANCE OF A RESOLUTION WITHOUT WAR. Therefore when [he recently] said, he doesn’t think there should be a war with Iran, this does not ring true. It is not consistent with other things he has said."

    "Obama does think there is still room for negotiations. It’s a very courageous thing to say in this atmosphere.
    In the end, this is what I think: Making foreign policy on Iran a serious issue in the US elections — what Romney has done, in itself — is a heavy blow to the ultimate interests of the United States and Israel."

    "It is not as if, if he wins the election, and gets into the White House, he can back up. The Iranians are listening attentively to what he says. When he says, he would arm the opposition in Iran. They understand."

    October 22, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |

    Diplomacy before war. That is America's foreign policy in the Obama Administration. We are not the world police!!! It is up to the people of the Middle East to shape their own future. If they need a helping hand, they'll ask for it.

    October 22, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    Of course Mittens wants to go to war with Iran! Why else would he call for an additional $2 trillion in military spending – when the military hasn't asked for it?

    The Mittens 'n' Munster plan is to so devastate our economy and eliminate social spending as much as possible, to create an employment pool desperate for any kind of job – including enlisting in the military to fight America's endless wars.

    October 22, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    TEAM OBAMA: Drop the B Bomb tonight. The George W. Bush Bomb. You know, the Neo-Con who let 9-11 happen on his watch, then invaded Afghanistan then forgot about it, then invaded Iraq & strengthened Iran. That guy will scare voters away fast.

    October 22, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Then why haven't they done that? Because Iran isn't interested, of course.

    Obama the liar, doesn't want you to KNOW that!

    October 22, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Raphael

    God almighty,
    Thank you for such a President, May the Lord help him.

    October 22, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    of course it's preferabe but Flip "I can't see saying no to him" and his master Nutty Yahoo would drag us into a war that he'd then try to blame Obama as "not trying dialog"

    October 22, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. ST

    I do not expect to hear from Romney anything different from what Pres. Obama stands for on foreign matters. In his very recent major speech on foreign policies, Mitt Romney was just repeating of what Pres. Obama is doing or will do.

    October 22, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. bowlkoff

    Can't wait to here Mitt's Foreign policy again tonight. What happened in Libya? Remember how you went to fund raiser in Vegas? You said that word not the other word in re guards to Libya. Libya Libya Libya. When will Mitt realize he needs to stop publicizing a tragedy and understand their is more to foreign policy BESIDES Libya. He probably doesn't want to face real questions like why would you (Mitt) allow Israel to lead the US to war in Iran?

    October 22, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Raphael

    The President of the USA is not responsible for every wrongs out there. People can be evil and hide evil thoughts in their hearts.
    What can you do about it? How will you prevent somone thinking evil and planning to do evil? And all guns shootings in the USA? So far The President has helped to better the Image of the USA.
    Romney bludered on his first trip to Europe, how these people be allies when you belittle them like that!

    October 22, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Peace

    As far as I have studied Mitt Romney character, he is not going to mention about war at all during the debate, while he knows in his heart, once he is elected he will take the country to war for sure.

    October 22, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. B.

    Romney would have us in yet another WAR in six months of election.

    The man is dangerous and will say or do anything as we have all been witness to!

    October 22, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Ken

    I really do feel sorry for the deaths of the four in Libya. That was indeed tragic. However, it's not as if an attack happened on the Homeland where almost 3000 Americans were killed (and another 4500 or more Americans in a baseless war – and countless innocent Iraqi citizens). No – that kind of stuff was the responsibility of some other party and some other leader. Notice I didn't mevtion names. It is time to stop trying to score political points because of a tragedy!!

    October 22, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. lovespandas

    I'd rather anything Romney says compared to Nobama's absolute nothing. If left up to Nobama, Iran WILL have the bomb and the US will be right behind Israel in the bombing! Obama is weak!

    October 22, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. truth hurts

    So has Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium while these talks go on? If not, all this is yet another stalling and delay tactic from the Iranians until they get the bomb. They know Israel is getting ready to take them down and this was mean't to block that attack. Of course, niave clueless Obama will be a very willing tool for the Iranians.

    October 22, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Borderless

    I see. Because that has worked so well to date.

    October 22, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Henry

    Romney will take us to war but won't go himself. While his contemporaries went to Vietnam and many did not come back
    He went for three years to Paris France. No risk to himself . This is not leadership and he is only interested in mitt and money. Not an American patriot. Not an Eisenhower send other peoples children to fight. No Romney hays ever served his country.
    He send dollars to switzerland and jobs to china and won't let us see his tax returns. This is not leadership it is greed

    October 22, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. Critical Thinking

    I hope the intelligence team that is protecting us from Iran developing an atomic bomb is different then the one protecting diplomates from video crazed protestors. But I can already hear the president when Iran acquires the bomb; He will say; The United States and the world at large are concerned about Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon but we are confident that they will behave rationally and look toward peaceful solutions to their differences. And when asked, Mr. President, how did this happen, how did Iran acquire this weapon, the president will probabaly say; we are looking into how this mis-step took place and will report back to the american people once we get all the facts.

    People, we are doomed if we put any further trust into this President. He doesn't know what he is doing.

    October 22, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. California Gary

    No, that's not weak lovespandas.......what's weak is a man that goes around changing his positions and his convictions as often as most people change their socks. With Obama, you know what he believes in, and you know what he'll do. That's what most people would refer to as strength. You might ask Bin Laden about how "weak" Obama is........

    October 22, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. New Citizen

    Any war with Iran will not be easy like we had in Iraq. We, the taxpayers will pay for those wars. I hope that Romney is not elected because he is sketchy too about foreign policy. We don't want no foreign wars.

    October 22, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. CB FL

    I am sure the mothers and fathers will be a lot happier knowing there sons and daughters will be safer with Obama as president.

    October 22, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. tjkarani

    Of course Romney wants another war. Wars make money for the wealthy.

    October 22, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. BILL, NY

    Hey Romney,
    if you are so gung ho to go to war with Iran, make sure your sons enlist.

    October 22, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Hahahahahhahahaha

    However, the Military Industrial Complex disagrees!!!!!! Just ask the NAZI Bush Family!!!! They had JFK killed using Hunt as the hit man to keep the MIC properly funded. The Bush family financed the NAZI party before WWII. They are probably financing the Iranian nuclear program too. Hahahahaaahahhaha

    October 22, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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