- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said President Obama’s handling of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program runs the risk of creating an arms race in the region, saying the president is “about to unleash hell” on the Middle East.

“Iran with a nuclear capability is the greatest threat the world will know in my lifetime,” Mr. Graham told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Mr. Graham said Republicans are trying to get a vote on new sanctions against Iran, but Mr. Obama has threatened to veto such measures with negotiations still ongoing.

“Why not just call a time-out and say ‘we’re not going to talk to you any more about your nuclear program until you stop your weapons build-up and destabilizing the neighbors?’ ” Mr. Graham said. “Does anybody really believe that Barack Obama would use military force against Iran after he drew a red line against Assad and did nothing?”

Mr. Graham, one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, recently launched a committee called “Security Through Strength” to explore a presidential bid in 2016.

“The Israelis are in a box,” he said. “The Israelis are not [going to] allow the Ayatollahs to go nuclear, and the deal that we’re contemplating with Iran is North Korea in the making, and the Arabs and the Israelis are not [going to] allow the Ayatollahs in Iran to have a nuclear capability only contained by the U.N. — that’s what we tried to do in North Korea.”

“So Obama’s about to unleash hell on the Mideast — he’s about to create a nuclear arms race by wanting a deal with the Iranians so badly that he’s about to make the mistake of a lifetime,” he continued.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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