'Offer friendship to Iran.' Ron Paul
Photo: AFP
Ron Paul: Offer Iran friendship, not sanctions
Republican presidential candidate says fears over Tehran's nuclear ambition have 'been blown out of proportion'; claims penalties may pave path to war

WASHINGTON – GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul said "offering friendship" to Iran, not sanctions, would be a more fruitful to achieving peace with Tehran.


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In an interview with "Fox News Sunday", the Texas congressman said fears about Iran's nuclear program have been "blown out of proportion," adding that tough penalties are a mistake because, as was the case in Iraq, they only hurt the local population and still paved a path to war.


פול. עמדה יונית מול המועמדים האחרים (צילום: AP)

At odds with other candidates. Ron Paul (Photo: AP)


When asked what he would do to deter Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions, Paul said "maybe offering friendship to them."


Paul's remarks put him at odds with both the Bush and Obama administrations; US policy has relied heavily on sanctions and diplomacy to try to convince Tehran to abandon its atomic program.


Earlier, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US should consider even tougher penalties against Iran's government and "be doing everything we can to bring it down."


Rice told ABC's "This Week" that the US should never take the option of military force off the table when it comes to dealing with Iran, adding that "the regime has absolutely no legitimacy left."


The Associated Press contributed to this report




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