Graham: Allowing Enrichement Puts Iran Nuclear Deal 'on the Road to Armageddon'
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he's "begging" the Obama administration to not give Iran the right to enrich uranium in the ongoing P5+1 talks to arrive at a final agreement.
"I'm sure they will probably continue to negotiate, but here's what you need to understand about the negotiations. The Obama administration is about to give the ayatollahs in Iran the right to enrich uranium," Graham told Fox. "This is what they did with North Korea. They allowed the North Koreans a small enrichment program and they were gonna monitor it with the U.N. weapons inspectors. Well, guess what? And that sanctions. The North Koreans have nuclear weapons."
"We're on the path to repeating Iran the same mistakes we had in North Korea. I am begging the Obama administration if the Iranians have a nuclear power program, fine, just control the fuel cycle. Do not allow them to enrich uranium. You'll have a North Korean result on your hand and in the Mideast if the Iranians get a nuclear capability, Sunni Arabs are gonna want one of their own and you are on the road to Armageddon."
A senior administration official said on background last week that "on some issues, if you can move forward, you may open up trade space on another issue."
"When we’ve talked about enrichment before, that has many, many pieces to it – from stockpiles to facilities to enrichment levels to centrifuge production," the official said. "I mean, it’s just a myriad of subsets. And that’s true of every issue."
Graham said Iran's recent attempt to send a 1979 hostage-taker to New York as its UN ambassador raises questions about their motives and sincerity.
"If they are really sincere about wanting to reach a peaceful resolution, that nuclear program, why would they do this to begin with? This really tells you all you need to know about this Iranian regime. They are a bunch of thugs," he said.
"The largest state sponsor of terrorism for the last 30 years. They killed our American soldiers in Iraq providing weapons to people in Iraq to kill American soldiers. They are trying to develop a nuclear weapon, not a peaceful power program. And this is just -- tells you all you need to know about the Iranians."
July 20 has been set by the negotiating parties as the deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran.