A scrappy US VP debate focused on Iran, Benghazi, housing
Republican vice presidential contender Paul Ryan charged that when Barack Obama was elected, Iran had enough fissile material to make a nuclear bomb. Now they have enough to make five. His administration blocked sanctions for years.
DEBKAfile: Those figures are correct and show that that endless US-Israeli debating on breakout and other timelines was misleading and meaningless.
In an exceptionally aggressive debate Ryan insisted: "The ayatollahs see the US wanting more space with our ally Israel. They see the US president refuse to meet with Netanyahu. When they see us putting daylight between ourselves and our allies in Israel, that gives them encouragement."
Biden shot back: The sanctions are the most crippling in the history of sanctions and Obama’s strategy led to an international united front on Iran. The president met Netanyahu a dozen times. "The Israeli and United States military intelligence communities are absolutely in the same place in terms of how close the Iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon," he said. "They are a good ways away."
Still on the offensive, contender Ryan accused Obama’s Middle East policies from Syria to Libya to advance US interests. "We should have supported the Green Revolution in Iran," he stated. "We should not have called [Syrian President Bashar] Assad a reformer when he was turning his guns against his own people."
Neither running mate gave the other any quarter. Their fireworks contrasted sharply with the tenor of the first presidential debate from which the Republican Mitt Romney came out ahead. The final presidential debates will be held Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.