Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., advised lawmakers to be cautious about publicly discussing a possible war with Iran after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suggested the Senate should consider a resolution to would allow President Obama to use military force to prevent the Middle Eastern country from getting nuclear weapons.
McConnell said publicly he doubts sanctions alone will deter Iran from abandoning their nuclear weapons program and added it might be time for the Senate to “consider” a non-binding measure authorizing the use of force.
The Republican leader said Iran has been a “state sponsor of terrorism” and that if it begins to enrich uranium at weapons-grade levels then “the United States will use military force to end that program.”
In an interview with reporters, Reid quickly pushed back against the suggestion.
“These are things that have to be done very, very cautiously,” Reid told reporters Tuesday. “We have problems around this world that are so significant. We have North Korea, we have Iran, we have a situation with Syria, we have problems now in Egypt. So let’s just stop throwing the word ‘war’ around so casually.”
McConnell has emphasized that he was not endorsing U.S. participation in a war with Iran, but that hasn’t kept Democratic lawmakers from pouncing on the GOP leader’s comments in recent days.
In a Twitter message to constituents, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Mn., emphasized diplomacy and called out McConnell by name.