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Only Rep. Ron Paul among the Republican contenders doesn’t grasp the seriousness of the twin Iranian threats of terrorism and nuclear weapons. “One can understand why [the mullahs] might want to become nuclear-capable, if only to defend themselves and to be treated more respectfully,” Mr. Paul has written. The congressman opposes economic sanctions on Iran. He opposes pre-emptive strikes on Iran. Indeed, Mr. Paul has indicated he does not have a problem with Iran acquiring nuclear weapons because he doesn’t think the mullahs in Tehran would actually use such weapons against their enemies. What’s more, he has stated that he would not come to Israel’s defense if Iran fired nuclear weapons at the Jewish state.

The good news is that Mr. Paul has little chance of becoming the GOP nominee. The bad news is that none of the candidates who do have a serious chance has made a strong case for how to neutralize the Iranian threat. The time has come.

Joel C. Rosenberg, former adviser to several Israeli politicians, is the author of the just-released “The Tehran Initiative” (Tyndale House, 2011).