Graham: ‘Another president’ should close our Iran nuke deal

Lindsey Graham -- CNN SOTUBy The Iowa Statesman


Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” this morning from Manchester, NH, where he discussed the latest on the Iran nuclear negotiations and his 2016 presidential run.

Senator Graham’s interview with Dana Bash comes during a campaign trip to New Hampshire where he spent the weekend discussing how to keep our nation secure with the threats we face both at home and abroad. Graham stated on Sunday, “I think the best thing for the world and our country is to let a new president have a chance to conclude the deal with Iran, because Obama’s so weak in the eyes of the Iranians and our friends at large.”

He said, if the U.S. can’t convince Iran to end its program peacefully and the mullahs attempt to “breakout,” he said he would stop them, as president. The “worst possible nightmare for the world at large” is a nuclear Iran, he added.

“So if I’m president, to the Iranians: If you try to breakout and get a nuclear weapon, we’re going to stop you,” he said. “We’re going to put all of the force on the table that’s necessary to keep you from getting a nuclear weapon, because I’m afraid they would use it…If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, they’re the biggest threat to the world and I would not allow that to happen and they need to know that.”

Graham later said he thinks leaving the interim deal with Iran in place was a “good deal” and applauded Secretary of State John Kerry. However, he also said, with the exception of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, all of the other presidential candidates — he didn’t clarify if he only meant Republicans or if he included Democrats, as well — could negotiate a better deal than the Obama Administration.

“[W]hen they drew that red line with Assad and did nothing about it, they’re weak in the eyes of the Iranians,” he said. “They don’t believe Obama would use military force. So give the next president a chance to conclude a final agreement with the Iranians. And please understand. Of all the mistakes we could make as a world and as a nation, getting a bad deal with Iran is the worst possible outcome…So let’s let somebody new negotiate because Obama’s so flawed as a negotiator.”