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Romney pulls back from aggressive statement on Iran

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"Already, there is too much loose talk of war," Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March. "Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in and to sustain the broad international coalition we have built."

An Obama ally, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, reaffirmed Obama's position that the U.S. "will stand with Israel."

"But this president has understood that the two choices between all-out war and Iran having a nuclear weapon are choices we don't want to face," Durbin told CNN's "State of the Union."

"I understand Mitt Romney is on this political tour doing this fundraiser in Israel, but the point is the president has had to sit down as he has over and over again with Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu and work out a sound policy to avoid the prospect of war."

The Romney adviser, Dan Senor, told reporters earlier in previewing the address that "if Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision." He said Romney is careful to note that he believes preventing nuclear "capability," not just a nuclear weapon, is critical.

Senor later clarified his comments in a written statement, saying that the candidate "believes we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is his fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded."

Romney said in the interview that "we should use every diplomatic and political vehicle that's available to us to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear-capable state. Those actions should be executed with the greatest speed we could muster. ... If all those options fail then we do have other options and we don't take those other options off the table."

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