By Elise Viebeck - 03/03/13 11:06 PM EST
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Sunday that the United States must be unequivocal in keeping all options on the table to stop a nuclear Iran.
Speaking to a major gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C., he emphasized that only a "credible threat of military action" will discourage the Iranian regime from pursuing its nuclear program.
"Just wait until Iran triggers a nuclear arms race," he continued. "Just wait until it blocks the Strait of Hormuz. Just wait until it annexes Iraq. Just wait until it becomes a more aggressive state sponsor of terrorism."
The well-received speech was largely apolitical, touting Congress's bipartisan commitment to Israeli security and hardly mentioning President Obama, whom many lawmakers say should take a more aggressive stance to block Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Obama spoke last year at AIPAC's event. This year, Vice President Joe Biden will deliver an address, but Obama will not.
On Sunday, Cornyn called stopping Iran's nuclear program "not optional."
"Our only hope for a peaceful resolution … is to combine debilitating sanctions with the credible threat of military action," he said.
"The key word in that sentence is 'credible.' The mullahs will never abandon their efforts unless they believe that America is serious about keeping all options on the table," said Cornyn.