Lindsey Graham on how he plans to stop dangerous Iran deal

Iran nuclear deadline is one month away


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," February 26, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, ANCHOR: Glad to have your expertise. All right, we're also hearing of a plan shaping up in the senate to keep a bad deal from moving forward. Armed Services Committee member Senator Lindsey Graham is one of the lawmakers behind this effort. Senator, great to have you with us tonight.


BREAM: You think, like a lot of people do, that Congress should have some input on whatever this deal cooks up to be. But how in the world do you hope to accomplish making sure that you get that ability to sign off?

GRAHAM: Well, part of the deal would be to relieve congressional sanctions, sanctions that Congress created against Iran. It's a pretty simple proposition. Before Congress agrees to relieve the sanctions it created, we would like to look at the deal and vote on it, up or down. I believe Democrats and Republicans are coming together along these lines, saying that a deal with Iran is so important to our own national security and that of Israel that we would want to look at the deal and have a say before it becomes binding. And I think there's going to be bipartisan support for that idea.

BREAM: Will it be veto proof?

GRAHAM: I hope so. I think all Republicans will be on board. And here's what I say to my Democratic colleagues, a good deal with Iran would be a blessing. A bad deal would be a nightmare. As Bret just indicated, we're talking about a deal that's being reported to be 6,000-plus centrifuges. Think of North Korea, the same people who negotiated the North Korean deal are negotiating this deal with Iran. From an Israeli point of view, this is one thing you can't allow to get wrong. Iran has threatened to destroy the state of Israel numerous times. If they had a nuclear capability, I'm afraid they would use it against Israel and us, and every Sunni Arab state who feels threatened by Iran would want to go down the nuclear road themselves. So a bad deal is catastrophic for the entire region and our own national security. And I think Congress should weigh-in and have a look at it.

BREAM: All right. Congress will also, next week, get to hear from Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And today, we get word that there will be some bipartisan meeting with the Senate leaders McConnell and Reid with the prime minister. Do you expect many of your Democratic colleagues to show up and/or publicly support what you expect Netanyahu to say?

GRAHAM: I would plead with them to come and listen to the prime minister of Israel, our best ally in the region who feels that his nation, the state of Israel, cannot survive a nuclear capable Iran. And I'm convinced if the Iranians developed a nuclear capability they would share that technology with terrorists and would come here. I think he has the strongest voice in the region. He understands the issue very well. And I think it's important for Congress to hear from our best ally. I hope that our Democratic colleagues will come and listen. Whether you agree with the prime minister or not, I think this is now time to listen to what he has to say. And just imagine this, if you live in Israel, the only thing between you and Iranian nuclear capability is Susan Rice, John America and Barack Obama, how would that make you feel?

BREAM: Well, I know you've said some of these foreign policy issues is the very reason that you're considering a run for the White House. Any closer to a decision?

GRAHAM: I'm looking at it. You had a good guest on, there are a lot of good candidates in the field. But the one thing I can say for the last decade I've spent a lot of time on the ground in the Mideast, I've never been more worried about the threats our nation faces. And President Obama's strategy is failing. His entire national security team is incompetent. And I know how we got in this mess. And I think I know how to get out. And the last thing you want to do is throw your best friend, Israel, under the bus. I just wish President Obama would be as hard on the Iranians as he is on the Israeli prime minister.

BREAM: All right, Senator Graham, thank you for your service on the Hill, and more importantly in the military as well. Thank you, sir.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

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