Following the announcement that the Iranian government has begun enrichment activities at the Fordow site near Qom, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) announced today that they will introduce a bipartisan resolution that will put the Senate on record as ruling out a strategy of containment for a nuclear-armed Iran. Below is the text of a joint statement by Senators Graham and Lieberman:
"The beginning of enrichment at the Fordow facility marks an alarming leap forward by the Iranian nuclear program. Despite the increased sanctions put in place over the last several years, the American people should have no illusions: time is now quickly running out to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
"The news from Qom must inject unprecedented urgency into the drive to impose crippling sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran, cutting it off from the international financial system, and stop purchases of Iranian oil, as authorized by legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Obama late in December. We urge the European Union and the major economies of Asia to implement these measures immediately, and for the Obama Administration to do everything possible to ensure they do so.
"Some have suggested that -- should economic and diplomatic pressure fail to force Iran to abandon its pursuit of acquiring nuclear weapons -- the next best option is for the United States to accept and then contain a nuclear-armed Iran. That would be a catastrophic mistake.
"The resolution we intend to introduce will put the Senate on record as opposing containment in the strongest and clearest terms, detailing why the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be 'contained' like the threat of the Soviet Union.
"When it comes to addressing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, all options must be on the table -- except for one, and that is containment. We are confident that an overwhelming bipartisan super-majority of our colleagues will join us in passing this resolution, which will send a clear message to Iran's rulers that we are absolutely determined to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. Containment is failure, and failure cannot be an option."