Mitt Romney used Sunday morning — prime TV time for politics — to depart from his core message about fixing the economy to tout a bare-knuckled foreign policy approach that would include “crippling sanctions” on Iran.

The Republican presidential nominee also was critical of President Obama’s handling of Iran, which is moving toward nuclear capability.

“The president hasn’t drawn us any further away from a nuclear Iran,” Romney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press. “That’s his greatest (foreign policy) failure.”

Romney said Obama’s mistake was coming into office trying to comprise with Iran’s leaders, instead of confronting them.

“I will have a very different approach with regard to Iran,” including “crippling sanctions that should have been put in place long ago,” he said.

Romney also said the greatest threat facing the United States and the rest of the world is a nuclear Iran.