Mitt Romney’s astounding exaggeration on Iran - The Plum Line - The Washington Post What exactly is Mitt Romneyâ€™s position on Iran â€“ and what does it tell us about his general approach to foreign policy? Romney said something astonishing on Face the Nation yesterday (my emphasis) that hasnâ€™t gotten enough attention: "I can assure you if Iâ€™m President, the Iranians will have no question but that I would be willing to take military action, if necessary, to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the worldâ€¦I understand that some in the Senate, for instance, have written letters to the President indicating you should know that â€” that a â€” a containment strategy is unacceptable. We cannot survive a â€” a course of action which would include a nuclear Iran, and we must be willing to take any and all action, they must all â€” all those actions must be on the table." Now, thatâ€™s pretty amazing. The United States could survive forty years of Cold War with a nuclear Soviet Union, and even now survives a nuclear China and, for that matter, a nuclear North Korea, but it couldnâ€™t survive a nuclear Iran? Of course, if whatâ€™s at stake is survival, then containment certainly is unacceptable, and military action is called for regardless of how hazardous and (self-) destructive itâ€™s likely to be. If, however, thatâ€™s a bunch of hogwash and a nuclear Iran would be bad for the United States but would not lead inevitably to its demise, then policy-making is a lot more tricky, with a variety of interests and risks to be balanced. Which raises two broader points. One is that there really does seem to be a divide within the Republican Party between a more cautious and traditional foreign policy approach, and the kind of of bellicose and grandiose national security thinking that still, apparently, sees the Iraq War as a great success. Which side is Romney with? Thatâ€™s a good question for the next reporter who gets a chance to sit down with him. And the second point: weâ€™re talking here about a one-term governor who has no particular foreign policy or national security credentials at all. Romney hasnâ€™t been particularly challenged on that, perhaps because heâ€™s certainly not a Herman Cain-level clown. But so far, heâ€™s managed to keep his foreign policy positions vague, mostly confining himself to hawkish slogans and criticisms of a mythical Barack Obama (and, sometimes, as in his â€œNo Apologyâ€ book title, both!). Will he be able to keep it up throughout the campaign?