U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on recent developments in Iraq:
"We are alarmed by recent developments in Iraq, most recently the warrant issued today by the Maliki government for the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashimi. This is a clear sign that the fragile political accommodation made possible by the surge of 2007, which ended large-scale sectarian violence in Iraq, is now unraveling. This crisis has been precipitated in large measure by the failure and unwillingness of the Obama Administration to reach an agreement with the Iraqi government for a residual presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, thereby depriving Iraq of the stabilizing influence of the U.S. military and diminishing the ability of the United States to support Iraq.
"If Iraq slides back into sectarian violence, the consequences will be catastrophic for the Iraqi people and U.S. interests in the Middle East, and a clear victory for al Qaeda and Iran. A deterioration of the kind we are now witnessing in Iraq was not unforeseen, and now the U.S. government must do whatever it can to help Iraqis stabilize the situation. We call upon the Obama Administration and the Iraqi government to reopen negotiations with the goal of maintaining an effective residual U.S. military presence in Iraq before the situation deteriorates further."