Jun 23 2009
Wes HIckman (202) 224-5972 / Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Iranian situation after President Obama's press conference.
"Today's comments by President Obama challenged the Iranian regime more than at any point since the saga began. His stronger comments will hopefully inspire the people of Iran to continue their struggle for freedom.
"I am grateful for the more forceful tone and I do not believe it is ‘meddling' to speak up for freedom or against a regime with innocent blood on its hands. Brave Iranians are taking to the streets in opposition to tyranny. They are expressing their hopes for freedom and justice. They want an Iran that lives in peace with its neighbors as part of the community of nations, not as an outcast.
"President Obama is the leader of the free world and America is the beacon of hope for millions of oppressed people around the world. President Obama should make it clear to these brave Iranians he hears their cries for freedom and recognizes their struggle.
"President Obama is a gifted speaker whose words have moved millions. He can now use his voice to change the course of history. President Obama should make it clear that as long as the Iranians risk their lives in support of freedom, they will have an ally, friend, and supporter in the United States of America.
"Now is the time for the United States, and all freedom loving people, to show our disgust with the behavior of the Iranian regime. We should take action.
"I believe it would be appropriate and constructive for the U.S. to author a U.N .Security Council resolution condemning the regimes aggressive and brutal behavior toward its own people. We should consider strengthening economic sanctions against Iran. And finally, I hope the President will continue to speak out forcefully for the cause of freedom and explain to the world why Iranians are sacrificing their lives. They are standing for inalienable rights - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - which are universal.
"The Iranian regime must also understand they will pay a high price for their brutal behavior. Words without action could be interpreted as a green light to continue their brutal tactics.
"President Obama is a man of great talent. Just as President Reagan and Pope John Paul II inspired those behind the Iron Curtain, President Obama's voice could now be employed to inspire those in Iran. The rewards of success would be immense."