The PJ Tatler

Graham: Iran Trying to 'Use Our Election Cycle in a Pretty Clever Way'

A Republican senator said that if a report about nuclear talks with Iran prove to be true, it’s just a dialogue “using our election cycle, and in a pretty clever way.”

Both the White House and Iran over the weekend denied a New York Times report that direct U.S.-Iran talks over the Islamic Republic’s growing nuclear development were imminent.

“I think the Iranians are trying to take advantage of our election cycle, to continue to talk. As we talk with the Iranians, whether it is bilaterally or unilaterally, they continue to enrich. And the vice president and the president said we will do nothing without coordinating with Israel,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Fox News Sunday.

“I think this is a ploy by the Iranians. I hope we are talking to the Israelis. And, as we continue to talk, they continue to enrich and they are trying to break apart the coalition. … I hope we don’t take the bait. And we had a chance in 2009 to speak up during the Iranian revolution and we did nothing; it was a huge mistake. And I would like to talk with Israel before we make any major decisions with Iran.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the report is “a clear indication the sanctions regime that President Obama has put together with Israel and many nations around the world is putting pressure on Iran to sit down and finally acknowledge that they cannot have a nuclear weapon.”

“I think that there are many options. I’m not going to say one is better than the other,” Durbin added. “If direct negotiations are a path toward a peaceful resolution with Iran giving up on the notion of nuclear weapons. pursue it. If meeting collectively is better, pursue that as well.”