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Tom Cotton: Bombing Iran Would Take "Several Days," Be Nothing Like Iraq War

"All we're asking is that the president simply be as tough as in the protection of America's national security interest as Bill Clinton was."

Posted on April 8, 2015, at 9:12 a.m. ET

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Sen. Tom Cotton says bombing Iran's nuclear facilities would take several days and be nothing like Iraq War.

The Arkansas Republican, who earlier this year upset Democrats and the White House by sending a letter warning the Iranian government to think twice about entering into a deal on its nuclear program with President Obama, said President Obama offered a "false choice" by saying it was his deal with Iran or war.

"This president has a bad habit of accusing other people of making false choices, but he presented the ultimate false choice last week when he said it's either this deal or war," the Arkansas Republican said on Family Research Council's Washington Watch radio program Tuesday.

After six world powers and Iran agreed on a set of "parameters" for the negotiating of a final nuclear deal, President Obama said the United States would be blamed and the "path to conflict" would widen if Congress killed the Iran deal.

Cotton challenged Obama's assertion that "no deal is better than a bad deal" with the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the alternative to a bad deal is "a better deal."

Cotton said any military action against Iran would not be like the Iraq War and would instead be similar to 1999's Operation Desert Fox, a four-day bombing campaign against Iraq ordered by President Bill Clinton.

"Even if military action were required -- and we certainly should have kept the credible threat of military force on the table throughout which always improves diplomacy -- the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 heavy mechanized troops on the ground in the Middle East again as we saw in Iraq and that's simply not the case," Cotton said.

"It would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. For interfering with weapons inspectors and for disobeying Security Council resolutions. All we're asking is that the president simply be as tough as in the protection of America's national security interest as Bill Clinton was."

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