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Tags: lindsey graham. iran | russia | china | nuclear

Lindsey Graham: Iran Poses Bigger Threat Than Russia, China

Lindsey Graham speaks at a press conference.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Dec.16, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Image

By    |   Tuesday, 15 February 2022 09:45 AM EST

Theocratic Iran, not Russia nor China, poses the most serious threat to the world, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Monday.

Graham, during a press briefing in Jerusalem, said stopping a nuclear Iran is "more consequential" than Russia invading Ukraine, or China attacking Taiwan.

The Russian and Chinese threats are "important, consequential moments in history," Graham said, The Jerusalem Post reported. "But the one we're not talking about enough is even more consequential: that the Iranians break out and acquire nuclear capability ... Russia and Ukraine are important, but this is the game changer of all game changers.

"Russia and China are rational actors, even though their behavior is thuggish. Iran is a theocracy motivated by religion that compels them to purify their faith and have the world submit. The Nazis wanted a master race, and the Iranians want a master religion. People like that cannot be ignored."

Graham warned that Iran attaining nuclear capabilities would result in Sunni Arab states developing their own nuclear weapons.

"That's not a conjecture; that's a fact,” he said, the Post reported. "All you need to do is ask the Sunni Arabs, and they'll tell you."

The senator said he had "no doubt" Israel will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capability, and pushed back against people who say it would be possible to live with a nuclear Iran.

"I guarantee you the Jewish people can’t live that way," Graham said, the Post reported. "One Holocaust was enough. There will be war. Why can’t Iran have nuclear weapons? Because Israelis say, 'Never again.'"

Graham, who is in Israel to meet with the country's leaders, said there's a difference between how the U.S. and Israel view the Iranian threat.

"Israelis say a nuclear-capable Iran is a nonstarter. America says we would deny Iran a weapon," he said. "I'm in the capability camp. I'm going to flesh out that capability."

Nuclear-capable would mean that Iran has enough enriched uranium for a weapon.

The Iran nuclear deal — officially known as the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — sought to keep Iran a year away from nuclear capability. Former President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal saying it was weak and poorly negotiated.

"Why you would allow the largest state sponsor of terror in the world to have a robust enrichment program, I don't know," Graham said in support of Trump’s move.

"Weaponization is a fairly complex endeavor. A lot of Iranian scientists have had a lot of accidents, and we would expect more accidents to come. Having said that, if the Iranian regime sees nuclear weapons as an insurance policy for survivability, it will suffer a lot to get there. What they won’t suffer is the destruction of the regime."

The Biden administration is seeking a renewed deal with Iran.

Post sources in Washington and Jerusalem say under the new deal, Iran would reach capability in less than six months.

Iran then would need to weaponize that stockpile and have a delivery system to have a nuclear weapon.

Graham estimated that there would be 70 votes against a "JCPOA 2.0."

"If it's anything like I've been told in terms of scope, it will fall far short of the votes necessary to ratify the agreement,” Graham said, the Post reported. "Consequently, the agreement, if there is one, will have no legal effect beyond the current administration."

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Theocratic Iran, not Russia nor China, poses the most serious threat to the world, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Monday.
lindsey graham. iran, russia, china, nuclear
Tuesday, 15 February 2022 09:45 AM
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