US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
said an attack on Iran's
nuclear facilities is unlikely to happen in the near future, shortly after a former US official said that the US and Israel are "zeroing in" on the possibility of mounting a surgical strike
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Romney said, "Let's recognize that we have a long way to go before military action may be necessary. And hopefully it's never necessary. "
The republican candidate, who according to some polls has closed the gap
with President Barack Obama
and is even at a slight advantage, repeated past statements and said that "Iran should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon."
He stressed that there should be boundaries that the Iranians "may not cross."
Romney discusses foreign policy
"Hopefully, through extremely tight sanctions, as well as diplomatic action, we can prevent Iran from taking a course which would lead to them crossing that line." Romney was in line with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
message of setting "red lines"
Asked about the possibility of an Israeli strike in Iran, he said "We have Israel's back both at the UN but also militarily. I would anticipate that if I'm president the actions of Israel would not come as a surprise to me."
He further added, "The crippling sanctions do have an impact, they're having an impact on Iran's economy now and there's great hope and real prospects for dissuading Iran from taking a path that leads into a nuclear setting but this is going to require real strength on the part of America and showing no daylight between ourselves and Israel."
The Republican candidate, who according to the latest Pew poll is leading by four points, told CNN that he intends to work alongside Saudi Arabia and Turkey to indentify moderate forces in Syria's opposition and provide them with weapons.
On Monday, Romney said as part of his first major foreign policy speech that he is in favor of arming the rebels in Syria.