National Security

Graham: Iran ‘giving Obama the diplomatic finger’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Iran has given “the diplomatic finger” to Washington with its behavior since the international nuclear agreement took effect.

“All their behavior since the agreement — holding the two American ships, jailing Americans, firing missiles in violation of U.N. resolutions — here’s what the ayatollah and his buddies are telling us: You misjudged us,” Graham, an ardent critic of the nuclear pact, said in an interview with Vice.

{mosads}“They’re basically giving Obama the diplomatic finger.”

The nuclear pact sets limits on Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of sanctions that have been credited with crippling Iran’s economy.

Yet in the months since the deal was implemented last year, Iran has engaged in a series of provocative actions that have called into question its willingness to abide by international norms. The country has continued with harsh rhetoric against Israel and Saudi Arabia, has test-fired ballistic missiles, jailed a pair of Americans and briefly detained 10 U.S. Navy sailors believed to have entered its territorial waters.

The Obama administration has criticized the behavior but denied allegations from its critics that Tehran has violated the nuclear pact.

“Iran so far has followed the letter of the agreement, but the spirit of the agreement involves Iran also sending signals to the world community and businesses that it is not going to be engaging in a range of provocative actions that are going to scare businesses off,” President Obama said during a press conference earlier this year.

In the Vice episode, which airs on HBO at 11 p.m. on Friday, founder Shane Smith travels to Iran and tours a nuclear facility.

Tags Iran nuclear deal Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Lindsey Graham

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