From his entry into the crowded race for Republican nominee for president in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) has struggled to shake the reputation of being slightly less hawkish than the rest of the field, and today attacked the Iran nuclear deal during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting.
In his comments, Sen. Paul toed the party line of Iran as inherently untrustworthy, and took comments of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei out of context, claiming when he said America “didn’t stop” Iran from making nuclear arms, he meant they were going to. Secretary of State John Kerry corrected this point, noting that Khamenei had issued a religious fatwa against ever acquiring nuclear arms long before the talks began, and was making the point that the deal was “stopping” them from doing something they had no intention of doing in the first place.
While Sen. Paul insisted in the comments to Kerry that he supports a nuclear deal in theory, he also declared that “diplomacy doesn’t work without military force,” and insisted he was ready to endorse a US military attack on Iran to “delay” them from getting nuclear arms.
Sen. Paul acknowledged that attacking Iran would likely force them to try to get nuclear arms, and would also lead to the expulsion of UN inspectors from the country, but insisted he was still supportive of the idea of an attack even if it ended up with Iran getting a bomb faster because of it.