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US Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani said he opposes creation of a Palestinian state at this time and would take a tough stand with Iran, including destroying its nuclear infrastructure "should all else fail."
Outlining his foreign policy views in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Giuliani said "too much emphasis" has been placed on brokering negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians - an apparent swipe at President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who have been pushing both sides for final status negotiations despite Hamas's takeover of Gaza in June.
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In addition, US allies in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have been pressing the US to take a more active role in bringing about a settlement.
"It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism," the former New York City mayor said.
"Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel," Giuliani said. "America's commitment to Israel's security is a permanent feature of our foreign policy."
Giuliani said in the article that he would not rule out negotiating with Iran, but such negotiations should proceed from "a position of strength."
"The theocrats ruling Iran need to understand that we can wield the stick as well as the carrot, by undermining popular support for their regime, damaging the Iranian economy, weakening Iran's military, and, should all else fail, destroying its nuclear infrastructure," Giuliani said.
Bush recently warned Iran of "consequences" if Iran is determined to be assisting the flow of explosive devices into Iraq.
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