WASHINGTON – Leading republican presidential contenders Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain stressed Thursday that they would not hesitate to attack Iran in order to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.
During a debate held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California’s Simi Valley, the contenders directly addressed the Iranian issue.
"Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. We all know that," McCain said. "Iran continues their efforts to build nuclear weapons. My greatest fear is the Iranians acquire a nuclear weapon and give it to a terrorist organization and there is a real threat of them doing that.”
According to McCain, the solution for this was an increase of the diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran, along with the Europeans.
When asked at what point in his opinion should the US launch a military operation against Iran, McCain said that the critical moment would be when intelligence reports indicate that Israel, or other countries in the region, were under a substantial threat.
However, he said that the option of a military strike should be considered only after all other efforts to resolve the problem have been exhausted.
Giuliani, who called Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “absolutely irrational”, said a military strike against Tehran would be “very dangerous”, but not as dangerous as a nuclear-armed Iran.
"It's the worst nightmare of the Cold War isn't it? The nuclear weapons in the hands of an irrational person,” Giuliani said.