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Sen. Graham to offer resolution authorizing war.

US Senator Lindsay Graham, Republican of South Carolina, says he's thinking of introducing legislation that would authorize a war against Iran.

"If nothing changes in Iran come September, October, I will present a resolution that will authorize the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb," Graham told a conference last week held by the group Christians United For Isarel.

As described by Graham, his legislation would not be a declaration of war against Iran, but merely give the president authorization to use military force if he should wish to do so.

President Obama may not be unhappy to have such authority in his back pocket. It remains uncertain, however, that either chamber would be willing to give such a blank check to any president. Congress has been very leery of such authorizations since President Lyndon B. Johnson used a bland resolution approved in 1964 to justify putting combat troops into South Vietnam.

As a matter of fact, each congressional resolution critical of Iran that has been approved by Congress has included a clause saying something like, "Nothing in this resolution should be construed to authorize the use of military force against Iran."

Graham argued that such a blank check for a president to attack Iran would provide real pressure on it to negotiate seriously with the United States. He did

not argue that he wanted to use military power against Iran, only that he wanted to use the threat of military power against Iran.

"The only way to convince Iran to halt their nuclear program is to make it clear that we will take it out," Graham said in his speech.

He earlier called war "the last card to play in a very dangerous situation."

Graham has never been leery of raising the war option, however. As far back as September 2010, he said, "If you use military force against Iran, you've opened up Pandora's box. If you allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon, you've emptied Pandora's box. I'd rather open up Pandora's box than empty it."

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Title Annotation:Faith: Religion and the world; Lindsey Graham
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Aug 2, 2013
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