A top GOP defense senator said Saturday that United States military action to “neuter” Iran could become necessary.
Speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Pentagon should have a civilian chief to give peace a chance Lawmakers eye early exit from Washington MORE (R-S.C.) told the audience he believed a comprehensive strike would stop the regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“So, my view of military force would be not to just neutralize their nuclear program … but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard," he said. "In other words, neuter that regime.”
Graham, who sits on both the Armed Services Committee and Homeland Security Committee, said: “If you take military action against Iran as the last effort to stop their nuclear ambitions, you do open up Pandora’s box. But if you let them acquire nuclear weapons, you’ll empty Pandora’s box.”
The Iranian government maintains that its nuclear program is designed for energy production, but the U.S. accuses the regime of attempting to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Graham, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, said he expects Republicans would be willing to support President Obama if he chose to be “tough on Iran.”
“I think you’re going to see a lot of Republican support for the idea that we cannot let Iran develop a nuclear weapon,” said Graham. “And [Obama’s] success or failure in 2012, I think, has got more to do with the foreign policy agenda than domestic agenda.”