Aug 05 2015

Statement by Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain on Obama's Iranian Speech

Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Clint Riddle )202) 224-5972

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John McCain (R-Arizona) released the following statement today on President Obama’s speech regarding the Iranian Nuclear Agreement:

“President Obama's speech today is just another example of his reliance on endless strawmen to divert attention from his failed policies. It is particularly galling to hear the President try to defend his nuclear agreement with Iran by claiming that its critics also supported the war in Iraq. Having presided over the collapse of our hard-won gains in Iraq, the rise of the most threatening terrorist army in the world, the most devastating civil war and humanitarian catastrophe in generations in Syria, the spread of conflict and radicalism across the Middle East and much of Africa, a failed reset with Russia, and escalating cyber-attacks and other acts of aggression for which our adversaries pay no price, the President should not throw stones from his glass house.”

“In addition to jousting with strawmen, the President also repeated his reliance on false choices. No one believes that military force can and should solve all problems. No one believes that diplomacy, including diplomacy with adversaries, is tantamount to weakness. What we object to is the President's lack of realism -- his ideological belief that diplomacy is good and force is bad, which has repeatedly resulted either in failed deals or bad deals. The alternative to this deal was never war; it was greater pressure on Iran and insistence on a better agreement.”

“President Obama’s deal with Iran empowers one of our chief antagonists and the world’s most radical Islamist regime with a pathway to the bomb, missiles to deliver it, money to pay for it, and the means to acquire a new military arsenal. Instead of dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, this agreement would lock it in place. Instead of weakening this radical regime, a regime with American blood on its hand, this agreement would make Iran stronger. Before the deal, Iran was able to destabilize Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. After this deal, Iran’s power in the region will only be enhanced as it ultimately becomes a member of the nuclear club. A more powerful Iran with a bomb in the Ayatollah’s hands is a direct threat to the United States and an existential threat to our allies in Israel.”

“President Obama clearly does not understand the Middle East and has made one blunder after another. He was wrong when he ignored sound military advice to leave a residual force in Iraq. He was wrong when he turned down the advice of his national security team when they urged him to help Free Syrian Army fighters when it could have made a difference. He was wrong when he failed to enforce his own red lines against Bashar Assad. He was wrong when he declared ISIL a “Junior Varsity team." He was wrong when he built a presidential campaign around a message of “Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is decimated.” And he is wrong about this deal with Iran.”

“Those of us who have warned President Obama about his past mistakes are warning him again about the consequences of this deal with Iran. We hope the American people realize this deal should be rejected and will weigh in to have their voice heard.”