Sen. Lindsey Graham explains his major objection to the president's deal with Iran to the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival and host Jeffrey Goldberg.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: The most effective fighting force in Iraq is the Shia militia controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Caliphate doesn't represent a threat to the world order, as the nuclear-armed Iran, so it is not even close for me. If you do not get Iran right, in terms of controlling their ambitions and destabilizing influence, that is far more ominous to us than ISIL, even though they are really bad.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: So, from your perspective, what is the wrong with the pending Iranian nuclear deal, for instance?
GRAHAM: Oh, other than they are sitting down and talking with people who are nuts as if they were not nuts.
They're religious Nazis. What are they going to do with that money you give 'em? Do you think they're gonna build hospitals and schools?
GOLDBERG: President Obama says that they are on the hook to their people for $100 million in infrastructure.
GRAHAM: Absolutely, I'm sure that's true, I'm sure the Ayatollah is worried about the next election. I don;t think so. This whole construct of treating IRan as anything other than a totalitarian religious theocracy is nuts...
There are not moderates in the Iranian government, the moderates were killed long ago... There are puppets out front, there are no moderates in this regime, the puppets stood up in 2009 and pretty much got slaughtered.
So I would not treat them as if they are something they are not.
The full hour with Lindsey Graham: