It's an axiom of dictatorships that their leaders fear above all the loss of face. To lose face is to show weakness, and weakness inevitably leads to a loss of power. This is the situation that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Iran's closest ally in the Arab Middle East, now finds himself in, and no doubt Iran's leaders are determined to avoid his fate.
A nuclear-armed Iran would be an unacceptable threat to Israel, the United States and global security in general. Though Mr. Romney sought to frame his remarks on the subject as criticism of the Obama administration, they share that basic belief, and they share the resolve to take whatever actions are ultimately necessary. But for now, the Obama administration and Congress are taking the right course. It would take extraordinarily skillful U.S. diplomacy in conjunction with the tough global sanctions now in place to get Iran's leaders to back down, and there is no guarantee that such a course would work. But it is the course we must take simply because every other option would be worse.