Graham threatens to withhold UN funding
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock Graham on Moore: 'We are about to give away a seat' key to Trump's agenda Tax plans show Congress putting donors over voters MORE (R-S.C.) warned Thursday that he would slash U.S. funding to the United Nations if the body decides to lift its sanctions on Iran as part of a nuclear agreement.

“Twenty-two percent of the funding for the United Nations comes from the American taxpayer and I’m in charge of that account,” he said on Fox News’s “On the Record.”

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“If they go to the UN Security council, and the UN Security council lifts all sanctions before we ever get a chance to look at this deal, absolutely I would suspend funding the United Nations, because I don't think your money should go to an organization that irresponsible.”

Graham is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. The United States sent the United Nations $654 million for 2015

Multilateral negotiations with Tehran are reportedly stalled over whether the U.N. would quickly lift its sanctions after an agreement on scaling down its nuclear program is reached. Iran wants the sanctions removed as soon as possible, while the United States and other parties to the talks want assurances that Iran is meeting its commitments.

Graham is one of the more vocal opponents of the Iran negotiations. He signed the recent letter from 47 Republican senators to Iran's leadership that warned Congress could overrule any negotiations it didn’t have a part in. He added that there is “zero doubt” that he would move to cut off funding to the U.N. if it removed the sanctions, framing the multilateral negotiations as a threat to Israeli security. 

“I'm not going to allow the United Nations to be used as a way to get around the United States Congress for a deal that affects the very existence of Israel and our own national security,” he said.

“The worst possible outcome is for Iran to get a nuclear weapon.”

Graham has made the threat before, most recently during a speech at the annual convention for the pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.