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Rubio Takes Tough Stance on Iran: 'We Need to Begin to Prepare People' For Potential Conflict

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"These are the stakes of a nuclear Iran."

During a discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was asked about how he would deal with Iran and their nuclear ambitions. Rubio's answers, to the point and revealing, indicate that the senator and possible vice presidential candidate has more than a just passing knowledge of the radical regime's ideology.

Rubio also made one thing very clear: if he were commander-in-chief he would not let Iran develop a nuclear weapon and would use military force to prevent it.

He was asked point blank by moderator Richard Stengel, "But you would — just to be straight about it — but you would sanction a strike before you would tolerate a nuclear Iran?"

Rubio replied, "Yes. And I think we need to begin to prepare people for that."

He went on, "I think...the people of the world appreciate when their leaders walk them through this process and explain this is what we’re working on, and more importantly, these are the stakes of a nuclear Iran."

Watch Rubio's comments here:

Rubio asserts that Iran is a different type of enemy than the world has ever seen. Should the country ever be successful in developing a nuclear weapon , he explained, it would be the first time in human history that a government as radical as Iran had the technology at their disposal.

Rubio also referred to Iran as "a country that says its unifying national goal is the eradication of Israel" and one that actively supports terrorism.

"We need to begin to explain that to people," Rubio said. "There's real implications to this."

Rubio tried to soften his comments by saying that he is not "rooting" for war with Iran and hopes that sanctions against the country will have an impact. But he also said he recognizes the potential for future escalation.

"If history is any judge of it, if you recall what the Iranians were willing to put up with in terms of loss of human life in their war against Iraq, it had to get so atrocious that it actually threatened the regime's future before they backed off that conflict," he said. "These are the kinds of people we are dealing with."

Iran, with a population of 50 million, suffered roughly 1 million casualties in the war against Iraq, who lost 250,000-500,000 people.

Rubio also expressed concern about Iran potentially sharing nuclear technology with countries or groups that would "strike against our interests in the homeland." One of the possible groups that immediately comes to mind is the militant radical Islamic group Hezbollah.

It was recently rumored that Iran will build a missile base in Venezuela to be used in the case of "an emergency." Venezuela, like Iran, is a sworn enemy of the U.S.

Rubio has also advocated for military intervention in Syria, where more than 9,000 people have been killed since the uprisings began in March, 2011. Critics have accused Rubio of being a war hawk who wants to drag the U.S. into another war.

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