Iran watching Obama, Graham says

President Obama’s decision to label the North Korean cyberattack against Sony Pictures as “vandalism” and reestablish relations with Cuba will embolden Iran as the U.S. seeks to negotiate a deal to end its nuclear weapons program, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (R-S.C.) charged Sunday.


“I can only imagine what the ayatollahs in Iran must be saying to themselves when our president called the North Korean attack on our way of life, not just a movie, vandalism, and when he reaches out to a communist dictatorship who's done nothing to change,” Graham said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “They must be feeling pretty good about their chance to negotiate with America.”

“When the president calls this an act of vandalism, that just really bothers me greatly, this was an act of terrorism,” he added.

During an interview earlier Sunday with CNN, the president declined to call the Sony attack an act of war.

"I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive,” Obama said. “We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately, as I said.”

Graham said Obama must respond “forcefully, because the Iranians are watching everything this man does.”

The South Carolina senator recommended reimposing trade sanctions removed during the Bush administration and placing North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terror.

The U.S. announced last month a seven-month extension in talks intended to goad Tehran into dismantling key components of its nuclear weapons program, the second extension of the negotiations.