A former US official has said that Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are Israeli allies who are “bordering on being traitors. ”
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell when he was the US Secretary of State, has severely criticized McCain and Graham for being Israeli allies who take aggressive postures toward diplomatic negotiations with Iran over its nuclear energy program and who are “angry that” the US did not attack Syria. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has left Tehran for New York City to attend the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly amid media speculations about the possibility of a meeting between the Iranian President and his US counterpart Barack Obama in New York. White House deputy national adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on Monday that a meeting between Rouhani and Obama is possible. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also said on Thursday that a meeting between the two “is possible.” In an interview with NBC News in Tehran on Wednesday, President Rouhani also did not rule out the possibility of a meeting with President Obama. Meanwhile, Carney said Wednesday that Obama has told Rouhani in an exchange of letters that the US is ready to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program “diplomatically.” However, in a recent interview with The Real News Network, Wilkerson said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies on Capitol Hill, including McCain and Graham, are opposed to any diplomatic negotiations with Iran. “And then you come to this country and you find Netanyahu's allies in people like Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham -- from my home state -- and others, who are bordering on being traitors in my view, because they won't let this president [Obama] have room to achieve a diplomatic solution,” Wilkerson told The Real News Network. “They’re all angry now that he [Obama] didn’t bomb Syria that he in fact, in conjunction with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, came up with a deal that may be extremely challenging to implement but nonetheless it’s kept the bombs from dropping, which is a good thing, and so they’re moving on to Iran, with Graham even saying he’s going to move for legislation to authorize the use of military force against Iran in the next four to five months,” he added. The US, Israel and some of their allies claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and the European Union using the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran. Tehran strongly rejects the allegation, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.