Obama, Candidates Disagree on How to Handle Iran

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President Barack Obama is looking to Russia and China for help in thwarting Iran's nuclear weapon plans. He met with leaders from both countries at the Asia-Pacific economic summit in Hawaii this past weekend.

"All three of us entirely agree on the objective, which is making sure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power and that we don't trigger a nuclear arms race in the region," Obama said, according to the Voice of America.

Obama told the APEC gathering that sanctions on Tehran are having an "enormous bite" and he wants more.

Meanwhile, GOP candidates took aim at the president's handling of the Iran crisis at a debate in South Carolina Saturday.

Click play to watch the updated report from CBN News Senior Editor John Waage.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called Iran the president's greatest foreign policy failure.

"It's worth putting in place crippling sanctions," Romney said. "It's worth working with the insurgents in country to encourage regime change in the country.

"And if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done, there's nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action," he said.

"The United States of America is willing in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon," Romney added.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested, "Maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems."

"Second, maximum coordination with the Israelis," he continued. "You have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon."

Herman Cain also weighed in saying the U.S. should, "Assist the opposition movement in Iran that's trying to overthrow the regime."

"Our enemies are not the people of Iran, it's the regime. And a regime change is what they are trying to achieve," he said.

"There's one other thing that we can do," the former Godfather CEO added. "We could deploy our ballistic missile defense capable warships strategically in that part of the world."

The GOP debate in South Carolina was the first to address foreign policy.

However, one expert appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week" said military action might be both dangerous and ineffective.

"The approach the Obama administration is taking is the opposite the Bush administration took in 2003 against Iraq," said Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"This time around, I think the Obama administration recognizes that in order to obtain a robust international coalition which includes countries like China and Russia, we have to take milder unilateral action because those countries are not going to be on board with very harsh action," he explained.

There's very little response coming out of Israel -- the nation with the most at stake. The country must decide whether to strike Iran before the Islamic regime gets nuclear weapons.

Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said recently that Israel will first see how the world responds to the Iranian threat and then will make its decision on what to do.

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