U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is fanning the flames for new sanction legislation against Iran, a stance that needs to at least be considered by Congress and President Obama.
In an interview on Fox News, the South Carolina native said a “bad deal” with Iran will allow the country to produce a nuclear weapon that could eventually lead to war.
International diplomats are currently aiming to finalize a comprehensive agreement in Switzerland that would establish permanent limits on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
It’s certainly a touchy issue, one that has domestic and global ramifications.
Iran has asserted that it has the right to enrich its uranium, a source that could be used for energy production as well as to produce weapons-grade material.
Graham jointly wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, encouraging him to not make a deal with Iran that would “roll back economic sanctions without also rolling back progress towards nuclear weapons capability.”
That’s a sensible idea, but one that has to be approached without overly antagonizing Iran.
It was the election of Hassan Rouhani – who appears to be more moderate than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – that somewhat changed Iran’s tone on the nuclear issue.
We don’t want them to pack up their bags and walk away from the negotiating table, but we also don’t want to make any kind of significant concessions merely in the name of diplomacy.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll indicated that there’s public approval for a deal with Iran, even if it means removing some restrictions that have actually pressed Iran to negotiate.
The ultimate goal should be to avoid another costly war in the Middle East. While there’s certainly a reason former President George W. Bush referred to Iran as a member of the “axis of evil,” along with Iraq and North Korea, a sensible, effective negotiation could generate benefits for the whole region.
President Obama has reportedly asked legislators to hold off on voting for sanctions, hoping it would give negotiators some breathing room to reach a deal on Iranian’s nuclear program.
Hopefully, diplomats will cobble together a solution that smartly considers all sides of the issue.
However, there are legitimate fears that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon.
We don’t want to realize at the last minute that members of the new Iranian leadership are sheep in wolves’ clothing.
While the country’s nuclear program may be for legitimate, peaceful purposes, concerns from Graham and other senators shouldn’t be minimized.