Continued from page 2

Asked during an appearance on CBS News whether that means he would give Israel the “green light” to bomb Iran, Mr. Romney ducked the question by saying, “I respect the right of Israel to defend itself and we stand with Israel.”

Mr. Romney explained that he didn’t want to dive any deeper into the issue because he didn’t want to “create new foreign policy for my country or in anyway distance myself” from current American foreign policy.

“Are there differences between [Mr. Obama and me]? Of course,” he said. “But being on foreign soil, particularly being here in Israel, this isn’t the right time for me to draft those out.”

Mr. Romney, however, did distance himself from the Obama administration in his speech here Sunday by saying that over the past five years the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran has “only become worse.”

“Now as then, the regime’s claims that it seeks to enrich nuclear material for peaceful purposes are belied by years of malign deceptions,” he said. “Now, as then, the conduct of Iran’s leaders gives us no reason to trust them with nuclear material. But today, the regime in Iran is five years closer to developing nuclear weapons capability.

Seth McLaughlin reported from Washington.