Connecticut’s senators adopt hardest line toward Iran

Connecticut’s senators have some of the toughest positions on Capitol Hill on Iran — outflanking President Obama with their talk of war.

To roars of approval at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention this week, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said the threat from Iran is “more serious than anything faced by the United States and Israel” during his time in office. That would include threats from al-Qaeda and Iraq.

Lieberman said he wants an “iron-clad” resolution that the United States will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear-weapons capability.

“By peaceful means if we can, but with military force if we absolutely must,” Lieberman said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also attended the convention and met with AIPAC members lobbying Capitol Hill Tuesday

He said President Obama must give a “more specific and muscular content” to his policy toward Iran.

The president believes economic sanctions on Iran, which have helped drive up the price of gasoline, are working.

Obama also says he thinks there is still room for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear dispute. Although the talk about Iran has gotten tougher, Republican presidential candidates accuse Obama of wanting to appease Iran.

The president shot back Tuesday, saying the GOP candidates are unwisely “beating the drums of war.”

“Now is not the time for bluster,” Obama said.

But it seems that lawmakers like Lieberman and Blumenthal will continue to try to push the president toward a more aggressive stance.

Blumenthal said Iran poses a major threat to U.S. interests and Israel and, if left unchecked, will “lead to the spread of nuclear weapons throughout the Middle East.”

Blumenthal is one of the lead sponsors of a resolution, which Lieberman also supports, that urges the president “to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and oppose any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Blumenthal made a tour of the Middle East last month with some of the Senate’s major hard-liners on Iran, including Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Afghanistan and Egypt were among the stops on the tour.