Senate committee passes resolution to reaffirm Iran sanctions, Israel's self-defense right

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday to reiterate the danger posed by a nuclear Iran and reaffirm the support for Israel's right to self-defense.

Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) co-authored Senate Resolution 65 in light of growing concerns about the timetable in which Iran could develop the capability for nuclear weapons.

"This important resolution sends a clear signal to both Iran and to Israel," Menendez said. "To Iran, it makes clear that its behavior is unacceptable and that if it continues down this pathway the economic noose will only tighten around its neck. I am putting Iran on notice today that I am prepared to consider additional sanctions against Iran unless there is a demonstrable change in its behavior. To Israel, the message is also clear. We support you and we have your back. America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakeable. I share the President's commitment in this regard and I know that the 80 colleagues who have joined on as co-sponsors of this resolution do as well."

The resolution also declares that the U.S. has a vital national interest in and an unbreakable commitment to ensure the security, survival and existence of Israel and that the U.S. will stand with Israel to provide economic, military and diplomatic support if the need arises.

"Our bond with Israel is deep," Graham said. "We have no better friend in that part of the world than Israel. Last year President Obama told the people of Israel, 'We have your back.' Our resolution builds upon that statement and makes it clear that we will stand with Israel should Israel be forced to protect itself from Iran. I appreciate the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's passage of this important resolution."

The resolution will now go to the Senate floor for consideration.