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What Would A Lindsey Graham Presidency Mean For Iran?

During a talk Monday on the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, former Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman noted Republican presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham may have the experience to lead on the issue.

Prior to announcing his presidential run Monday, Graham frequently pointed to his experience dealing with foreign policy matters as why he should be president. As Lieberman and the other speakers noted during the first Iran Task Force panel, finalizing a deal with Iran is likely to become the single greatest foreign policy matter since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The Task Force, which helps provide the legislative branch with expertise on internal Iran politics, was concerned with the direction President Barack Obama has been taking the negotiations. When asked by The Daily Caller News Foundation, Lieberman at least thought Graham had the experience and knowledge to handle the job as leader.

“He has a lot of experience and is informed on matters of foreign and defense policy,” Lieberman told TheDCNF.

Though the former Democrat-turned-Independent from Connecticut fell short of actually endorsing Graham, he did note his admiration for the Republican candidate for president.

“I have a lot of respect, in addition to friendship, for him,” Lieberman said. “He has been quite outspoken on the question of these negotiations, probably as outspoken against the direction their taking as anybody has been.”

Lieberman also noted that with his position in Congress, including as the chairman for the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Graham is likely to use his power in various ways to either inhibit the agreement or strengthen allies in the region.

The panel, which was moderated by Task Force co-Chair and former Sen. Evan Bayh, also consisted of four-star Gen. Michael Hayden and former Dick Cheney staffer John Hannah. Though there were several concerns shared among Task Force members, at the forefront was the lack of provisions to make sure Iran stuck with any potential deal.

Such provisions included careful sequencing of sanctions relief tied to Iran meeting its obligations, temporary suspension of only those sanctions that could be easily implemented if Iran were to fail on its obligations and complete authority for weapons inspectors to make sure Iran is not developing a nuclear bomb.

Though the upcoming deal is likely to get blocked by Congress, members of the panel noted concern that opponents would not have enough votes to override a likely presidential veto.

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