Sen. Paul clashes with ML Reid over denied war amendment to Iran sanctions bill

Paul's amendment reads: "To clarify that nothing in the Act shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of force against Iran or Syria."

In justifying his demand for the addition, Paul recalled the war drums beat by senators including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in the lead-up to President Obama's unilateral decision to participate in NATO's war on Libya, and suggested there are several members of the Senate who are now itching to begin a new conflict abroad. 

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"Many in this body cannot get boots on ground fast enough in a variety of places, from Syria to Libya to Iran," said Paul. "[I] urge that we not begin a new war without a full debate, without a vote, without careful consideration of the ramifications of a third or even a fourth war in this past decade."

Reid did not agree to Paul's request for the amendment saying the underlying bill did not even touch the subject of war and to the contrary would provide key diplomatic tools that could prevent a conflict by "preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, threatening Israel and further terrorizing other parts of the world."

"I really am terribly disappointed," said Reid. "There is nothing in the resolution that talks about war, in fact it’s to the contrary. This is not a declaration of war or anything in the neighborhood of that."

The bill, S. 2101, would level broad sanctions at Iran and those who help Iran, including visa denial and freezing of assets on persons and firms that supply Iran with technologies.