Iran biggest world threat, Barbour says


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a likely candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, during a speech in Israel called Iran the biggest threat to world stability.

"We must recognize and focus on Iran as the crucial strategic issue in the region," Barbour said Wednesday at the prestigious Herzliya Conference, an annual policy and strategic gathering.

Barbour, who is visiting Israel as a guest of the Republican Jewish Coalition, also told reporters following his speech that he supports U.S. military aid to Israel.

"I always have," he told the Weekly Standard, referring to support of the $3 billion in aid that the United States provides annually to Israel.

The RJC had hosted Barber in Israel in 1994, when he chaired the Republican National Committee.

He is the third potential Republican 2012 presidential candidate to visit Israel in recent weeks. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were in the Jewish state last month.

Barbour, like Romney and Huckabee, was scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli government officials.

Recommended from JTA