Mitt Romney will this weekend threaten war on Iran if he is elected president, as he tries to recover from accusations that he embarrassed America with his calamitous visit to London.
The Republican presidential candidate is due to arrive in Israel on Saturday for the second leg of his overseas tour, and will pledge in a speech on Sunday to stop Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon with crippling sanctions or force if required.
He describes a nuclear-armed Iran as "the greatest threat to the world" and has struck a more bellicose tone than Barack Obama, telling Tehran: "If you want peace, prepare for war".
"Governor Romney has made it clear he doesn't think that Obama's policies have been sufficient," a foreign policy adviser to the Republican candidate told The Daily Telegraph. "The President thinks that a nuclear Iran can be contained and deterred. He is clearly wrong."
Mr Romney's visit to Jerusalem comes after his political opponents and one of America's most celebrated athletes said he had humiliated the country during his three-day stop in London.
Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leader, told the Huffington Post that it was "not good for us as a country" to "have somebody that's nominated by one of the principal parties to go over and insult everybody."
The former Massachusetts governor created a diplomatic spat on Thursday by questioning London's preparedness for the Olympics, prompting a rebuke by David Cameron. Carl Lewis, the winner of nine Olympic gold medals for the US, said on Friday: "Seriously, some Americans just shouldn't leave the country".
Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, pledged yesterday to "prove Mitt Romney wrong", amid signs the comments had united Olympic optimists and sceptics alike in support of the games.
Mr Obama's Democrats gleefully seized on British summaries of a "Romneyshambles", a variation on the "Omnishambles" label frequently applied to the crisis-hit Coalition government.
Mr Romney appeared careful not to complain on Friday after being forced by heavy traffic to walk through London to the Irish embassy to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
He will seek to salvage the tour in Jerusalem by demonstrating that he would be a sturdier ally to Israel than Mr Obama, who has not visited since taking office in 2009.
In an interview with an Israeli newspaper this week, he pledged to "treat Israel like the friend and ally it is", adding: "I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticising Israel in front of the world".
The President's relations with Israel have cooled since he proposed a peace deal with the Palestinians along pre-1967 borders last year, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly lecture him during a visit to Washington.
Mr Obama announced yesterday that he would release an additional $70 million (£44.5 million) in military aid for Israel in an apparent attempt to upstage Mr Romney's trip.
Despite the firestorm over his comments, Mr Romney raised $2 million (£1.27 million) at two fundraisers for American expatriates at London's Mandarin Oriental hotel late on Thursday. Senior bankers, lawyers and former ambassadors paid up to $75,000 (£47,682) to mingle with the candidate.
As guests ate fish and chips, he said he was "looking forward to the bust of Winston Churchill being in the Oval Office again," as disclosed by the Daily Telegraph this week. Mr Obama returned the bust, given to George W Bush by Tony Blair.
Mr Romney emphasised his English heritage in an interview with CNN after his day of gaffes, declaring himself to be "a guy from Great Britain" who is "married to a girl from Wales".
His great-great-grandfather, a carpenter from Preston, was one of the first Mormons in Britain some 175 years ago. His wife, Ann, is descended from Welsh coal-miners.
Joining in the damage limitation effort, Mrs Romney said the ITV drama Downton Abbey was one of he couple's favourite television programmes, and that they were working their way through the second series.----
In: World News, Politics, Iran
Tags: romney, usa, israel, evangelicals, nutjobs, london, shambles, diplomacy
Location: Israel (load item map)
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