Bachmann offers tough talk on Iran after test launch

Rep. Michele Bachmann

UPDATED 10:05 a.m. ET

One day before the voters in Iowa take the first official step selecting the Republican nominee for president, Rep. Michele Bachmann offered some tough talk on Iran.

The Minnesota lawmaker, who is courting conservative voters in Tuesday's caucuses, said she would put U.S. missiles "on alert" and consider a blockade against the oil-rich nation in an effort to express disapproval of Iran's apparent intent to obtain a nuclear weapon.

"What we need to do is take a very aggressive posture toward letting Iran know that we mean business, that we don't want them to seek a nuclear weapon," Bachmann said on CBS' "The Early Show," adding that her administration "will do whatever it takes" to send a "strong signal that the United States is on high alert."

She said that includes deploying Patriot missiles, ballistic missiles and other weapon systems in the U.S. and the Middle East. (watch at left)

The comments came in response to a question seeking her reaction to news that Iran had announced Sunday it had produced its first nuclear fuel rod and a Monday announcement that it had successfully test-fired two long-range surface-to-surface missiles on the last day of military drills near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian announcement "could mean potentially within a year, that they will have a nuclear weapon and they just demonstrated with their test launch, a missile delivery system that they have the capacity to have delivery of a nuclear weapon. This is very serious," she said.

Bachmann launched a televison ad in Iowa Monday comparing herself to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"And she'll never back down. One of our own. Michele Bachmann for president," the narrator intones, as the graphics on screen say she has "A Titanium Spine."

The ads are the first for Bachmann in Iowa in months. She won the straw poll there in August and has campaigned throughout the state in the intervening months, more than most other candidates.

But her polls numbers have slipped and she could finish in last place Tuesday.

Asked about that possibility on "The Early Show," Bachmann brushed it off.

"Iowa is different," she said, "Iowans tomorrow night will come out into people's homes and at localities where they will actually stand or sit or fill out a sheet of paper or raise their hand."

She said she would continue her campaign regardless of her finish and vowed to compete in two upcoming debates in New Hampshire.

Full CBS News coverage: Michele Bachmann

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    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.

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