“The Iranians continue to express their commitment to development of nuclear weapons which obviously has the most serious consequences, both for the State of Israel, the United States of America, peace in the world and stability in the entire region,” McCain said. McCain, who was defeated by President Barack Obama in the 2008 US presidential election, also used the occasion to criticize Obama for refraining from openly supporting the opposition during the protests over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection last year.
McCain was speaking during the Israeli leg of a visit to the region that included Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian Authority. He was accompanied by Senators Lieberman and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The trio met earlier Wednesday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as well as Israeli Defense Forces Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gaby Ashkenazy.
“The point is to send a very clear message,” Lieberman said. “That when members of Congress say that it is unacceptable for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, we mean it. And we are prepared to support the use of…as I said, we hope that economic and diplomatic power will work, but if we must use military force, that must remain a very active option.”
Lieberman, now an Independent, was the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 2000, when Republican George W. Bush won his first term in office. “When it comes time to stop what I think will be the biggest game changer in the world today, a nuclear-armed Iran, they must believe and we must be certain in our statements; that all options are on the table,” said Graham (R-S.C.). “And if that day ever came regardless of who had to do it, I would be supportive if everything else fails.”
“I am not supportive now because many options are still available to us,” Graham added. “But if that day comes, it is not about the Iranian nuclear program. I think it would be in the world’s interest to make sure this regime’s ability to strike back is neutered. There should not be a plane that can fly, a ship that can float, and the Revolutionary Guard should be greatly diminished. So if that day ever comes, we need to be bold and decisive to make sure this regime cannot strike back, and the people in that country will have a chance to chart a different path.”
The senators arrived in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] on Tuesday [July 6], where they visited Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and a Palestinian National Security Forces Operations Camp. They all praised the US-trained Palestinian security forces for the stability its deployment has created.
Posted on July 9, 2010
Source: (By Arieh O'Sullivan, The Media Line, July 7, 2010)
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