The PJ Tatler

Graham: Hillary Could Forge Better Iran Deal, But Rand Probably Couldn't

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the best that may be hoped for at this point is locking in the interim nuclear agreement with Iran and “allow a new president in 2017, Democrat or Republican” to “take a crack at the Iranian nuclear program.”

Graham told CBS on Sunday that he thinks the framework announced last week by the P5+1 and Iran is “probably the best deal that Barack Obama could get with the Iranians, because the Iranians don’t fear or do they respect him and our allies in the region don’t trust the president.”

“Obama is a flawed negotiator. His foreign policy has failed on multiple fronts. Nobody in the region trusts him. The Iranians do not fear or respect him, so he will never be able to get the best deal,” he said. “The best deal I think comes with the new president. Hillary Clinton would do better. I think everybody on our side, except maybe Rand Paul, could do better.”

“That is one way of looking at this program, keeping the interim deal in place that’s been fairly successful and have a new crack at it with a new president that doesn’t have the baggage of Obama.”

Graham said the question should be whether Obama should be negotiating with Iran at all, “given his miserable foreign policy failure.”

“Does anybody really believe the Iranians will take the billions of dollars that we’re about to give them and build hospitals and schools? How many centrifuges should a nation have whose military leadership called for the destruction of Israel during the negotiations?” the senator said. “How many centrifuges should a nation have who is still the largest sponsor of state terrorism? Does anybody in their right mind believe that Iran’s behavior is going to change because you give them more money and more centrifuges to eventually make a bomb? What will the Arabs do in response to this deal? This deal doesn’t dismantle one centrifuge. It doesn’t close one site.”

“And I believe there is a better deal. I don’t want a war, but at the end of the day, I don’t want to give Iran the tools and the capability to continue to destroy the Mideast and one day attack us by building bigger missiles. And until they say they will not destroy the state of Israel, until stop their provocative behavior, I think we would be nuts to give them more money and more capability.”

Graham added that the Bush administration was also “a miserable failure when it came to controlling Iran’s nuclear ambition.”

“Having been at the table was result of sanctions that the Congress passed 100-nothing. If there’s nothing else from this interview, please understand the following. I think Congress will require any deal negotiated with the Iranians to come to the Congress for our review before we lift congressional sanctions,” he said.

“I don’t mind giving the administration the time between now and June to put this deal together, because when you listen to the Iranians and Secretary Kerry, you’re almost like you’re talking to two different deals.”