Nuclear Iran is ‘game changer of all game-changers,’ said Senator Lindsey Graham.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that curtailing Iran’s nuclear program is the most important global problem at this time, fully backing Israel’s concerns during his visit to Jerusalem Monday.
If the Iranians “acquire nuclear capability…this is the game-changer of all game-changers,” he told a press briefing following meetings with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
While acknowledging that an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine along with China’s recent threats against Taiwan are “important, consequential moments in history,” they do not threaten the world on the level that a nuclear-threshold Islamic Republic would.
“Russia and China are rational actors, even though their behavior is thuggish,” he said. “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.”
Furthermore, he continued, while the Shiite mullahcracy’s enmity to its Sunni Arab neighbors could lead destabilizing nuclear arms race, the existential threat it would pose to Israel is more serious.
“I guarantee you the Jewish people can’t live that way,” he said. “One Holocaust was enough. There will be war. Why can’t Iran have nuclear weapons? Because Israelis say, ‘Never again.’”
Regarding the current negotiations in Vienna, the tentative nuclear agreement in the works has “very unnerving” provisions, the senator added.
As a firm supporter of the America-Israel alliance who called Israel “America’s eyes and ears” in the Middle East, Graham said he would try to get bipartisan agreement in the Senate that would take to heart Israel’s red lines — Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, the creation of an actual bomb from the material, and its capability to deliver such a weapon via a long-range missile — in order “to provide clarity and avoid a devastating conflict.
“I mentioned the idea of formalizing a mutual defense agreement, in very limited circumstances that would involve existential threats to the Jewish state,” Graham said.
“I want a clear message to be sent in the 21st century, that destruction of the Jewish state means war with the United States.”
This is not the first time that the longtime friend of the Jewish state has proposed such an idea. Graham raised the issue in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in 2019, telling the audience that Israel’s enemies should know that if they want “to destroy the one and only Jewish state, you have to come through us to get them.”
Graham emphasized Monday that he supports Israel’s ability to act on its own if essential to its security.