Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) held nothing back when asked to share his thoughts of the Iran nuclear deal agreed to on Tuesday by the Obama administration as part of the p5+1 negotiations in Vienna.
"This is the most dangerous, irresponsible step I have ever seen in the history of watching the Mideast. Barack Obama, John Kerry have been dangerously naive about the Mideast in general," the presidential candidate said on MSNBC's Morning Joe, adding that the agreement created a potential "death sentence" for Israel, Iran's mortal enemy.
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Graham immediately angled to warn his colleagues in the Senate not to vote for the deal. Congress will have 60 days to review the deal and vote whether to remove sanctions against Iran. Obama has promised to veto any legislation Congress passed to keep sanctions on the rogue state that funds extremist organizations, causing havoc in the region.
"They have taken it to a new level, and any senator who votes for this is voting for a nuclear arms race in the Mideast, and is voting to give the largest state sponsor of terrorism $18 billion," Graham said. "And what do you think they'll do with the money? Put it in roads and schools? It's going to go to Assad, to Hezbollah and Hamas."
Graham delivered a blistering critique of the White House’s approach. He asserted the Sunni Arab nations would be unnerved by this deal because it would empower hostile Iran with more resources and, eventually, a nuclear weapon of their own. Iran’s threat, escalated by the gradual lifting of the U.N. arms embargo, will lead to nuclear proliferation and increased violence in a Middle East already in disarray according to Graham.
"This is a virtual declaration of war against Sunni Arabs. You're making every Sunni Arab nation recalculate," Graham said. Later he warned, "With this deal, you have insured every Sunni Arab nation who can get a nuclear weapon will, because now they must."
Rather than ignore Iran’s visceral irresponsible rhetoric and destabilizing actions, the senator advocated for a different approach, one that would tie the incremental removal of sanctions with a change in their behavior.