Iran General NewsU.S. must consider military force against Iran, Sen. Graham...

U.S. must consider military force against Iran, Sen. Graham says

-

McClatchy Newspapers: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Monday that the United States must be prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon – and added that the last-resort step should be taken with the goal of overthrowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

McClatchy Newspapers

By JAMES ROSEN

WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Monday that the United States must be prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon – and added that the last-resort step should be taken with the goal of overthrowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Graham, a military lawyer and a senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, became the first senator to support direct U.S. military intervention in Iran, saying it should not involve ground troops but be launched by U.S. warplanes and ships.

“If you use military force against Iran, you’ve opened up Pandora’s box,” Graham told the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “If you allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon, you’ve emptied Pandora’s box. I’d rather open up Pandora’s box than empty it.”

Graham’s unusual public support for overturning Ahmadinejad and the ruling council of Shiite Muslim clerics that he nominally heads recalled President George W. Bush’s controversial policy of regime change to invade Iraq in 2003 and overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein.

Graham was a prominent supporter of the Iraq war, though he criticized Bush and former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld for sending too few U.S. troops.

Aides to President Barack Obama on the National Security Council declined to comment Monday on Graham’s remarks about Iran.

State Department aides said Obama would discuss Iran on Thursday during his address to the U.N. General Assembly.

Graham said he believes Ahmadinejad “was lying” when he said Sunday in New York, after arriving for the U.N. General Assembly session this week, that Iran isn’t building a nuclear bomb.

“From my point of view, if we engage in military operations as a last resort, the United States should have in mind the goal of changing the regime,” Graham said. “Not by invading (Iran), but by launching a military strike by air and sea.”

Such an attack would be aimed not only at eliminating Iran’s nuclear capabilities, Graham said, but at rendering Ahmadinejad’s government powerless.

In order to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, he said, a U.S. attack would be preferable to an Israeli attack because the American military is more powerful and more likely to achieve regime change.

Graham’s aides later said his reference to regime change entailed both the overthrow of Ahmadinejad and the removal of the Islamic clerics that many analysts believe at least partially control him.

The U.S. opposition to Teheran’s construction of a nuclear power plant in the southern Iran city of Bushehr dates to the Clinton administration in the 1990s.

Obama, like Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, has failed to persuade Russia not to help Iran build the Bushehr plant and then provide fuel for it. Iran and Russia say the plant, which recently began operating, will produce nuclear-fueled electricity for peaceful use.

The United States believes that Iran’s ultimate intention is to convert the fuel to weapons-grade plutonium in order to create nuclear arms.

Latest news

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

How Internet Censorship Is Damaging Iran’s Economy

While in the last four months, internet access in Iran has been cut off or severely limited, the regime’s...

Must read

Supreme Leader’s confidant gets Iran’s top security post

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran - Jul. 20 – The...

CNN Poll: Iran a bigger threat to U.S. than North Korea

CNN: The CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday showed 81%...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you