In an interview with ThinkProgress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today rejected Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) threats of a war against Iran. On CBS’s Face the Nation, Lieberman claimed that “we have to be prepared to take aggressive military action ” against Iran.
“I know Joe feels strongly about that part of the world. I do too,” said Reid, rejecting Lieberman’s calls for ratcheting up tensions. “I believe our efforts should be diplomatic in nature,” Reid said, citing the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and others to hold a regional conference to resolve security issues in the Middle East. Reid also noted that “we are so overextended” that the U.S. does not have the ground troops necessary for a war with Iran.
“The invasion of [Iran] is only going to destabilize that part of the world more,” Reid charged. “I know Joe means well, but I don’t agree with him.” Watch it:
REID: I believe our efforts should be diplomatic in nature. The Iraq Study Group said that. And General Petraeus has said the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily. It can only be won politically, economically, and diplomatically.
So I would think rather than talking about military action against Iran, we should do what the Iraq Study Group said. Have a regional conference where we sit down and the president himself is personally involved with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and yes, Iran. That’s where our efforts have to be.
Right now, quite frankly, we’re so overextended — we don’t have the ability — we can send a few airplanes around the world, but as you know, our ground troops are overworked in Iraq.
So, I know Joe feels strongly about that part of the world. I do too. But the invasion of [Iran] is only going to destabilize that part of the world more. We don’t have the resources now to be involved in the situation in Lebanon, and we should be. We have, because of the Iraq invasion, totally ignored the Palestinian-Israeli situation. And with Iran, we don’t have — the Iranians are thumbing their noses at us. They know we’re overextended. And the president is very stubborn. He is not willing to sit down and meet with their leaders.
I know Joe means well, but I don’t agree with him.