The Senate minority leader told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee tonight that a strong commitment needs to be made to the use of force if necessary to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“If the administration is reluctant for some reason to articulate it, then Congress will attempt to do it for him,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at the evening gala.
“The current administration’s policies, however well-intentioned, simply aren’t enough,” he said.
The leader earned multiple standing ovations for vowing that majorities in both chambers of Congress would move forward with a “strong, declaratory policy” on Iran if the White House continued to inadequately address the nuclear threat.
“If at any time the intelligence community presents the Congress with an assessment that Iran has begun to enrich uranium to weapons grade levels, or has taken a decision to develop a nuclear weapon — consistent with protecting classified sources and methods — I will consult with the President and joint congressional leadership and introduce before the Senate an authorization for the use of military force,” McConnell said. “This authorization, if enacted, will ensure the nation and the world that our leaders are united in confronting Iran, and will undermine the perception that the U.S. is wounded or retreating from global responsibilities.”
He presented a laundry list of Iran’s enrichment activities, ignored deadlines and failed engagement that was a cornerstone of Obama’s initial policy.
“This is not a policy, it’s a talking point, and as we’ve seen a talking point will not deter Iran,” McConnell said.
He proposed a policy that “if Iran, at any time, begins to enrich uranium to weapons grade levels, or decides to go forward with a weapons program, then the United States will use overwhelming force to end that program.”
“Why exactly is a nuclear-armed Iran so dangerous? If Iran behaves the way it does without a nuclear weapon, then how would it behave with one?” McConnell said. “…Israel’s security is not negotiable.”