Sen. Paul Opposes Lieberman Resolution on Iran
Senator Rand Paul (KY) speaks out against the Graham/Lieberman resolution (S. Res. 380/H.Res. 568) that effectively endorses a military attack on a 'nuclear weapons capable' Iran. Sen. Paul explains his opposition to the resolution below, writing "I have concerns about this resolution because I do not want a resolution such as this to be used as an excuse for military action."
March 27, 2012
Dear Ms. XXXXX,
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding Iranian nuclear weapon development. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.
Even though Iran has large oil supplies, the country lacks the refining capabilities to use crude oil as their main source of energy. Since 1991, the Iranian government has looked to nuclear energy as a primary source for their country's energy needs.
Starting in 2002, the Iranian government announced their intent to construct two underground heavy-water nuclear facilities. This action worried many because heavy-water nuclear facilities can be used to enrich weapons grade uranium for the production of nuclear weapons.
In January 2012, unnamed sources within the Iranian government announced that the enrichment process at both heavy-water nuclear facilities had begun. According to these sources, Iran was only enriching the uranium to a 20 percent fissile purity. For the production of nuclear weapons, one would need uranium with at least 90 percent fissile purity.
Following this report, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a resolution stating that it is the sense of the Senate that United States foreign policy toward a nuclear Iran should not be one of containment - essentially saying the United States should do everything in its power, including the use of force, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons (S.Res.380).
Issues regarding United States foreign policy are very important to this country; one of the most important votes a Senator can make is on sending our men and women of the Armed Forces into battle. I believe we should only go to war when it is in our national interest based upon an actual and imminent threat to the United States. I have concerns about this resolution because I do not want a resolution such as this to be used as an excuse for military action.
I believe Congress should only vote to declare war as provided in the Constitution. If military action is justified and there is no other recourse, then and only then, will I cast my vote with a heavy heart.
S.Res.380 has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which I am not a member, where it awaits further consideration. Rest assured, as this issue continues to be debate in the Senate, I will keep your thoughts in mind.
Rand Paul, MD
United States Senator