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Santorum: ‘I Think The Focus Should Not Be Iraq, It Should Be Iran’

By ThinkProgress on September 3, 2006 at 12:01 pm

"Santorum: ‘I Think The Focus Should Not Be Iraq, It Should Be Iran’"

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This morning on Meet the Press, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) claimed, “I think the focus should not be Iraq, it should be Iran.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/09/santorumiran.320.240.flv]

It’s clear why Santorum wants to take public attention off the deeply unpopular war in Iraq. The problem is that President Bush’s failing policy there is one of the main factors empowering Iran in the region. As the British think tank Chatham House noted in its recent report:

The wars and continued weaknesses in Afghanistan and Iraq have further strengthened Iran, their most powerful immediate neighbour, which maintains significant involvement in its ‘near-abroad’. The US-driven agenda for confronting Iran is severely compromised by the confident ease with which Iran sits in its region.

U.S. security requires having effective policies in both Iraq and Iran. Right now we don’t have either.

Full transcript:

SANTORUM: You’re trying to get Iraqis to take control of the security situation, which we are trying to do. We are trying to get international cooperation to get money in there. We’re trying to improve their quality of life. We’re trying to stabilize their democracy and make sure their constitution is defended. I mean, all of those things that I think everyone would agree that we are to do. The question is, is you have some — you have sectarian violence you talked about, fomented by Iran, that we are not addressing. So the question is, how do we cure Iraq? Focus on Iran. We need to do something about stopping the Iranians from being the central destabilizer of the Middle East.

RUSSERT: Would you put more troops in Iraq?

SANTORUM: I don’t know if it’s a question of more troops or less troops. I think the focus should not be Iraq, it should be Iran.

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