Sen.Lindsey Graham’s resolution signals robust U.S. support for Israel should the country decide to launch a military strike against Iran.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) resolution signaling robust U.S. support for Israel should Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decide to launch a military strike against Iran.
“Our bond with Israel is deep. We have no better friend in that part of the world than Israel,” said Graham when the legislation was introduced last month. “Last year President Obama told the people of Israel, ‘We have your back.’ Our resolution builds upon that statement and makes it clear that we will stand with Israel should Israel be forced to protect itself from Iran.”
Retired military experts have long cautioned against such an attack on Iran, claiming that a strike aimed at disabling Iran’s nuclear capabilities would require a military effort greater than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
The Senate resolution is the latest measure bolstering U.S. support for Israel. It stated that “if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with United States law and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.”
Israel and the U.S. have both made clear that Iranian nuclear enrichment for the purposes of creating a nuclear weapon could trigger a military invasion.
For pro-peace Americans who would like to see a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff, the latest resolution is disheartening.
“The Senate action to greenlight military strikes is not binding, but it is a key and necessary step towards another disastrous war of choice,” writes Dr. Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council in an email to supporters Thursday.
The passage of the Senate resolution occurs as the House Foreign Affairs Committee debated a bill calling for “additional human rights and economic and financial sanctions” on Iran. It went through committee markup Wednesday but has not yet seen a vote in the full House.
Human rights organizations report that sanctions have had a damaging effect on the Iranian civilian population, creating increases in food prices and shortages of medicine. In a July 2012 statement, the Iranian Hemophilia Society informed the World Federation of Hemophilia that the “lives of tens of thousands of children are being endangered by the lack of proper drugs” because of the sanctions.
Iran and a coalition of world powers, including the U.S., have continued talks over Tehran’s nuclear enrichment activities, but they have so far failed to yield any significant breakthrough that could ease the tension. The latest round of negotiations, held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, last month, was attended by the group known as the “P5+1” — the U.S., Russia, China, U.K., France and Germany — as well as Iran.