Sen. Lindsey Graham decided to take a break from his usual rhetoric on Iran, and saying we ought to be dropping a few bombs on their heads to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons, to now saying we should be in discussions with them to help us with the deteriorating situation in Iraq.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has long favored a tougher approach on Iran, now says it’s time to work with Iran to stop Sunni extremists overrunning Iraq.
Graham compared teaming up with Iran now to the United States alliance with Soviet premier Joseph Stalin during World War II.
“The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn’t fall. We need to coordinate with the Iranians and the Turks need to get in the game and get the Sunni Arabs back into the game, form a new government without [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al] Maliki,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
He predicted if the United States declined to engage with Iran, it would take advantage of the vacuum to consolidate control over southern Iraq.
“We should have discussions with Iran to make sure that they don’t use this as an opportunity to seize control of parts of Iraq,” he said.
Graham said his biggest fear is that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will consolidate control over northern Iraq and parts of Syria and eventually march on Jordan, an important U.S. ally.
“Iraq and Syria are going to be the staging ground for the next 9/11 if we don’t do something about it,” he warned.
Graham told CNN's Dana Bash that it's perfectly fine for us to go in there and demand they put a new government in place, since the one we were previously propping up isn't working out so well.
GRAHAM: Three things very quickly. Put American air power into the game. These guys are not ten feet tall. Stop the advance on Baghdad. Get people on the ground that the Iraqis trust. Maliki must go. Get a new government in place. Right?'
And hit Syria. If you don't deal with Syria in a coordinated fashion, maybe with Turkey, regional Sunni Arab states, you'll have this happen all over again in Iraq.