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NIAC Guide: Presidential Candidate Postions on US-Iran Relations

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NIAC profiles the presidential candidates’ positions on Iran.  See NIAC’s page for more details on each candidate.

As the presidential elections draw near, Iranian Americans are faced with the challenge of gleaning candidate positions on Iran amidst a blur of sound bytes and vague rhetoric. Iran remains a key issue in both Republican and Democratic debates and continues to play a major role in determining who will be elected president. With the recent emergence of the National Intelligence Estimate deeming Iran’s nuclear weapons program halted since 2003, candidates must now tread carefully on earlier positions that rested on the imminent warnings of a nuclear Iran. Which candidates favor policies that will reduce the risk of war with Iran?

The strongest anti-war candidates include Kucinich, Gravel, and Paul, who are in favor of negotiations and staunchly oppose sanctions or military action. Edwards, Obama, and Clinton distinguish themselves from the Bush administration with their insistence on increased diplomatic negotiations in conjunction with sanctions, but they have not ruled out the use of a pre-emptive military action against Iran.

The candidates with the most aggressive policies toward Iran are Giuliani, McCain, Romney, and Thompson who focus on regime change and dismiss the effectiveness of negotiations. All three emphasize the imminent threat posed by Iran’s nuclear capabilities to the state of Israel, calling for a pre-emptive military strike without congressional approval if necessary. Huckabee follows suit with the Republican candidates except that he has expressed more openness to diplomacy.

Iran Coverage Candidates

Irancove @ January 16, 2008

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