Republican White House hopeful Michele Bachmann said Monday that if elected she would erect a blockade against Tehran and put US missiles on alert "to let Iran know that we mean business" over its nuclear program.
One day before Republican voters in the midwestern state of Iowa officially make their choice of a nominee to oppose Barack Obama in the November presidential election, Bachmann said the United States should be "aggressive" in dealing with the Islamic republic.
"What we need to do is take a very aggressive posture toward letting Iran know that we mean business, that we don't want them to seek a nuclear weapon," Bachmann said on CBS television's "The Early Show" program.
As president, Bachmann would do "whatever it takes" to send a "strong signal that the United States is on high alert," she said, adding that she would consider deploying Patriot missiles, ballistic missiles and other weapon systems in the United States and the Middle East.
The Minnesota lawmaker is one of several Republican contenders making closing arguments to voters here ahead of Tuesday's pivotal Iowa caucuses.
Her remarks were made in response to a question about Iran's announcement that it had produced its first nuclear fuel rod and test-fired two long-range surface-to-surface missiles as it wraps up military drills near the Strait of Hormuz.
That means that "potentially within a year, that they will have a nuclear weapon," said Bachmann, who serves on the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee.
"They just demonstrated with their test launch... that they have the capacity to have delivery of a nuclear weapon. This is very serious," she said.