WASHINGTON — Potential Republican vice presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Wednesday said a unilateral “military solution,” from the United States may be needed to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb.
Rubio, a freshman Senator for Florida, said in a speech in Washington that it was imperative that the United States not “stand on the sidelines” of a simmering Middle East, but instead provide leadership to resolve global crises.
“Our preferred option since the US became a global leader has been to work with others to achieve our goals,” Rubio said in an address at the Brookings Institution think tank.
But “America has acted unilaterally in the past — and I believe it should continue to do so in the future — when necessity requires,” he added, alluding to Iran.
Rubio, a member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently campaigned with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and has been touted as a possible running mate.
Rubio, 40, said multinational cooperation must be a priority in dealing with Iran, the regime in Syria and a rising China.
But he focused on Iran, noting that “the goal of preventing a dominant Iran is so important that every regional policy we adopt should be crafted with that overriding goal in mind.”
US officials should operate on a “dual track,” with the United Nations and other international groups, to rein in Iran, he said.
“We should also be preparing our allies, and the world, for the reality that unfortunately, if all else fails, preventing a nuclear Iran may, tragically, require a military solution.”
Rubio, also lambasted Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin’s preaching of “paranoia and anti-Western sentiments” and the “curtain of secrecy that veils the Chinese state.”
“On the most difficult transnational challenges of our time, who will lead if we do not? The answer, at least today, is that no other nation or organization is willing or able to do so,” he said.