Apr 02 2015

Graham Statement on the Iranian Nuclear Negotiations

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“I have been very consistent and straightforward when it comes to the manner in which we should address Iranian nuclear ambitions.

“I believe any agreement with Iran should require that they dismantle their nuclear weapons program and infrastructure, and forbid them ever having the pathway to develop a nuclear weapon. I believe sanctions relief should not be granted until Iran comes clean and fully reveals the past and present military dimensions of its nuclear program. I believe steps should be taken to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is to be used solely for peaceful purposes and never allowed to evolve into a program allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

“I look forward to reviewing the details and fine print of the deal announced today in Switzerland. Based upon the statements made and press reports, there appears to be major confusion and uncertainty over exactly what the deal entails. There also appears to be major differences of opinion over what impact the deal will have on the Iranian’s drive to develop a nuclear weapon. While I will reserve judgment until the details are known, it is notable how far from the White House’s initial negotiating principals we appear to be.

“Given the magnitude of this potential agreement and based on the obvious conflicts in interpretation, it is increasingly imperative Congress review any deal before it is finalized and before congressional sanctions are lifted.

“I also categorically reject President Obama’s construct that if Congress does not accept this agreement it means war. My biggest fear is a bad deal, which makes Iran a nuclear threshold state, will lead to an arms race in the Middle East. In addition, it will put our closest ally in the region, Israel, at great risk.

“The impact of a bad deal with Iran is unimaginable to our own national security, the region as a whole, and our allies. We simply cannot take President Obama’s word that it is this or war.”