Before leaving for their Memorial Day recess, a bipartisan group of senators reintroduced a resolution that will put the upper chamber on record as saying that a containment strategy for a nuclear Iran is not an option.
A House version, introduced by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), passed on May 17. It had 331 co-sponsors.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced his resolution a month before the House version was introduced, yet it’s been stuck in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since February.
That resolution had 77 co-sponsors, but not including Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.).
Graham, joined by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) put forth the new joint resolution, which has been updated to reflect statements made by President Obama since the original resolution was put forward. Obama told the AIPAC conference in March that containment was not an option.
“I am very dubious that the negotiations in Baghdad and any agreement with IAEA will bear fruit,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “However, hope springs eternal. The importance of this resolution cannot be understated. The Iranians need to know without any doubt that the policy of the United States is clear and certain.”
The resolution rejects any policy that fails to prevent the Iranian government from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and instead relies on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons capable Iran.
“This resolution demonstrates that there is a strong bipartisan commitment in the Senate to ensuring that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon,” said Ayotte, also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “If Iran were to obtain a nuclear weapon, it would be a national security disaster for the United States, for Israel, and for the world. Worst of all, there is a real danger that Iran might share nuclear weapons with terrorist groups, who could use them to attack Americans and our allies.”