A bill attempting to authorize the use of America's full military force against Iran is being introduced to Congress on Thursday by Rep. Franks (R-AZ).
Franks argues that the bill, which offers advance consent to President Obama to strike Iran, would give the U.S. the edge it needs in diplomatic negotiations. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) agrees; he has indicated in the past that he would support such an authorization in case the negotiations fail. According to some sources, Graham has already co-sponsored the bill.
The measure has been met with an intense backlash, however, particularly because it comes at a time when President Obama is attempting to establish a friendly relationship with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. One Congressional aide sums up the opposition:
"It's hard to imagine a more counterproductive effort to slow the development of Iran's nuclear program - especially when sanctions have succeeded in bringing the Iranians back to the negotiating table... This attempt to legislate the use of force in Iran is so far out of the mainstream that it makes Netanyahu look like a bleeding heart peacenik in comparison."
However, Congressman Franks continues to defend his proposal, citing the potentially disastrous consequences of failure to end Iran's nuclear program and the reactionary policy that led to the recent "debacle" in Syria. He argues that it is in America's interest to maintain the upper hand in negotiations with Iran and that his bill would ensure that is the case:
"For the sake of our national security, the security of our allies, and global stability, more generally, we must have every option available in advance. If the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism gains a weaponized nuclear capacity, we will have failed our fundamental responsibility to guard America's national security."
By the end of this week, America will see if the rest of the nation's lawmakers agree.
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