Obama vows to stop Iran from getting nuke bombs
Updated: 2012-10-23 14:55
BOCA RATON, the United States - US President Barack Obama vowed Monday night that he would not let Iran have nuclear weapons as long as he remains in office.
"As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon," the president asserted as he faced his Republican rival Mitt Romney in their third and last debate, 15 days before votes choose a new White House occupant.
The Democratic incumbent also voiced his support for an Israel under attack, calling Israel "a true friend" and "our greatest ally in the region".
"And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I've made that clear throughout my presidency," he added.
The president also rejected a report by the New York Times on Saturday saying Washington and Tehran had agreed in principle to have one-on-one talks over the latter's controversial nuclear program.
"Those are reports in the newspaper. They are not true," he added.
Both the White House and Iran have denied the report.
For his part, Romney declared a nuclear Iran "the greatest threat the world faces" as against Obama's designation of the terrorist networks.
The former governor of Massachusetts and his team have attacked Obama for being weak on Iran in stopping the Islamic republic from trying to obtain nuclear bombs while pressing hard on Israel.
"I see Iran four years closer to a bomb," he stated.
He agreed with Obama on imposing "crippling" sanctions on Iran to force the country to stop its uranium enrichment activities, but wanted to move further.
"It is absolutely the right thing to do to have crippling sanctions. I'd have put them in place earlier but it is good that we have them," the Republican said. "Something I'd add today, I would tighten those sanctions."
Iran insists on the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, while Washington and its Western allies regard it as a cover for developing nuclear weapons.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said on Sunday that nuclear talks between Iran and Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, collectively known as the P5+1, will "possibly" resume in late November.