McConnell: Obama appears ready to accept a nuclear Iran

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At a White House appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Obama said that his administration would use every option to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

"My policy is prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons," Obama said. "And as I indicated yesterday in my speech [at AIPAC], when I say all options are at the table, I mean it."

McConnell said Tuesday there is wide skepticism within the Senate Republican conference that economic sanctions by themselves will prove effective and declared the time is ripe to move a resolution authorizing force.

"I think it is time to consider a resolution authorizing the use of force, a resolution authorizing the use of force is not the mandate to use force but clearly would indicate to the Iranians that we're willing to go beyond sanctions that many of us are skeptical are likely to get the final result," McConnell said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), speaking minutes after McConnell, warned his Republican colleagues not to act hastily.

"I think we have to be very cautious and with trepidation look at declaring war," Reid said. "There's only one person in the country that's commander in chief, and that's whether we have a Democratic president or a Republican president.

"I'm not going to be part of rushing forward on a declaration of war. These are things that have to be done very, very cautiously," Reid said.  "Let's stop throwing the word war around so casually."

In a Tuesday news conference, Obama shot back at his Republican critics, condemning their “bluster” in “beating the drums of war.”