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May 22, 2017

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Romney, Netanyahu discuss Iran in phone call

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- White House hopeful Mitt Romney said Friday he discussed Iran's nuclear threat and turmoil in the region in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Republican presidential candidate told reporters aboard his campaign plane that he did not believe military action against Iran was necessary, but that he would not rule it out.

"I do not believe that in the final analysis we will have to use military action" against Iran, Romney said.

"I certainly hope we don't have to. I can't take that option off the table — it must be something which is known by the Iranians as a possible tool to be employed to prevent them from becoming nuclear."

A nuclear Iran is "the greatest national security threat that we face," Romney said.

Romney also said he would like to see action taken against Iran's diplomats and called on them to be treated "like the pariah I think they are, the same way we treated South African diplomats under apartheid."

Romney said he and Netanyahu "also spoke about other developments in his neighborhood," especially unrest in Syria and the new government in Egypt.

On Thursday, Romney declared "I stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu" after the Israeli's United Nations General Assembly address stressing the need to stop Tehran from enriching enough uranium for a nuclear bomb.

"I complimented him on his address at the United Nations," Romney said Friday.

The call came the same day President Barack Obama talked to Netanyahu.

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