GOP presidential candidate: The Iran deal could be a 'death sentence' to Israel

Lindsey GrahamAPRepublican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during the Atlantic Council’s series ‘America’s Role in the World’ at the Atlantic Council’s offices in Washington.

GOP presidential candidate and US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) came out on Tuesday in strong opposition of world powers’ agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, saying it could amount to a “death sentence” for Israel.

“The goal President Obama set out, I shared,” Graham said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday. “To dismantle their program. To neuter their program. To give them a nuclear capability consistent with a peaceful power program. To require them to change their behaviour before you gave them weapons or a nuclear capability.”

But the goal, Graham said, has not been met.

“You’ve ensured that the Arabs will go nuclear. You’ve put Israel in the worst possible box. This will be a death over time sentence to Israel if they don’t push back,” Graham said. “You put our nation at risk.”

Graham is one of the most hawkish foreign-policy voices in Congress and among the Republican presidential, and he has long been opposed to the emerging deal. He has made his foreign-policy experience a key point of his campaign platform.

Graham was particularly vehement in opposition to the reported lifting of the United Nations arms embargo.

In a separate interview, Graham told Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin that the deal was akin to “declaring war on Israel,” saying it would be a key test for Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton’s reaction to this deal is the first real test of her ability to be president and her judgment,” said Graham told Rogin. “If she believes it’s a good idea to lift the arms embargo without first seeing a behaviour change by the Iranians, then her judgment as commander in chief will be very much in question.”

Clinton has yet to publicly weigh in on the deal. 

Watch Graham on “Morning Joe” below:

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