As Iran ratcheted up its rhetoric Thursday about closing the Strait of Hormuz, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul revisited his earlier criticisms of Western policy towards Tehran, adding that Iran would be justified in cutting off the strategic waterway in response to sanctions.
Paul’s views on Iran and other foreign policy issues – essentially a noninterventionist, anti-war approach – have sparked clashes on several occasions during the GOP presidential primary season, and are attracting growing scrutiny as the Iowa caucus looms.
At a campaign event in Iowa Thursday, Paul called Western sanctions imposed against Iran over its nuclear activities “horrendous” and “acts of war,” while repeating earlier assertions that Iran would understandably want to develop a nuclear weapons capability, the Los Angeles Times reported.
On Iran’s threat to close Hormuz, the Texan congressman said that as president he would not respond with military action to any such move, as he would not consider it an act of war against the United States. Instead, he would refer the matter to the U.S. Congress.