Monday, April 20, 2015

Lindsey Graham: Iran Deal Doesn't Have 'Snowball's Chance' Without Inspections, Sanctions - Sandy Fitzgerald

by Sandy Fitzgerald

"I think [President] Barack Obama's deal is deteriorating before our eyes," Graham told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, insisting that Congress will not approve "this framework the way it's set up."

The framework nuclear deal between Iran and the United States and its negotiating partners doesn't have a "snowball's chance in hell" of being approved if Iran gets immediate sanctions relief and there are no provisions for "anytime, anywhere" inspections, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday.

"I think [President] Barack Obama's deal is deteriorating before our eyes," Graham told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, insisting that Congress will not approve "this framework the way it's set up."

Story continues below video.

On Friday, Obama said sanctions on Iran could be lifted just after a deal concludes this summer on its nuclear capability, depending on whether they could be quickly reimposed if Tehran violates the agreement.

Graham said he plans to release an outline later Sunday with "nine core principles" of what he believes a good deal would look like.

That would include "anytime, anywhere inspections of non-military facilities," he said, as "this idea that we can't go where we need to go is going to fail."

Meanwhile, he pointed out, the Chinese are talking about building five reactors with Iran, and "any nuclear enrichment program must be limited to one reactor."

Further, he said, sanctions can't be lifted until Iran's behavior changes, and that country is no longer a state sponsor of terrorism.

Wallace pointed out that under a bill pending from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is expected to pass the House and Senate, Congress would have 30 days after a deal is reached with Iran to either approve or disapprove it, and Obama would need 34 votes in the Senate to make a veto stand.

Graham said those votes will not be there.

"I'm saying that if there's a final deal that doesn't require anytime, anywhere inspections, the Senate will not go along with that," said Graham. "I'm saying that if you keep hardened secret sites one, you're not going to get Senate approval."

Senators "on a bipartisan fashion" do not trust Iran, he continued.

"They lie, they cheat, they're a murderous regime," said Graham. "They've been trying to develop a nuclear weapon. The framework that I've been presented with has to be turned in a final deal and there is no way we're going to approve a deal that doesn't allow for inspections anytime anywhere, remove all the highly enriched uranium, and limit their nuclear enrichment program to something for one reactor that can never be used to make a bomb."

In other issues, Graham admitted to Wallace that there's a "91 percent chance" that he'll be running for president, and that he plans to announce his decision in May.

"I think I've got a good message," said Graham. "I think I've been more right than wrong on foreign policy, [and I] have criticized the president for leading from behind [and] for being weak and indecisive."

He continued that he's been a "problem solver in Washington," and that he'll "make that decision in May. If I can raise the money, I'll do it."

Wallace noted that a recent poll showed that 55 percent of the voters in South Carolina said they would not vote for Graham, but he pointed out that his state picked him several times, and that if he didn't think he'd win his own state, he wouldn't run.

Meanwhile, he had high marks for one potential challenger: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

"I think Marco Rubio will be president one day, whether or not 2016 is his time," said Graham. "I like Marco."

Sandy Fitzgerald


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