Topics: House of Representatives

House to consider authorizing military force against Iran

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,House of Representatives,Iran,Syria,Middle East,Nuclear Weapons,Foreign Policy

House lawmakers will consider authorizing the use of military force against Iran, even though President Obama has not yet requested it, in order to avoid a repeat of the apparent fumbling that characterized the chief executive's push for military force against Syria.

"We must handle the nuclear threat in Iran with a more focused and proactive policy than we used in responding to the chemical threat in Syria," said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who plans to introduce the resolution next week.

Franks told the Republican Study Committee Sept. 11 that he would offer the resolution, an aide to the lawmaker told the Washington Examiner. In his Friday statement, Franks said that Iran could have the ability to build a nuclear weapon within a year.

"If we authorize the use of military force now, it will strengthen the president's hand in any potential talks with Iran," he said. "If we do not, the president may rely on reactionary efforts, much like the debacle in Syria. For the sake of our national security, the security of our allies, and global stability, more generally, we must have every option available in advance."

Franks is circulating a Dear Colleague letter outlining the proposal. A similar effort is underway in the Senate, led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

"The mixed message and the debacle called Syria can't be repeated when it comes to Iran," Graham said on Fox News, as the Washington Examiner's Byron York noted.

"So here's what I’m going to do. I'm going to get a bipartisan coalition together. We're going to put together a use-of-force resolution allowing our country to use military force as a last resort to stop the Iranian nuclear program, to make sure they get a clear signal that all this debacle about Syria doesn't mean we're confused about Iran."

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