A U.S. lawmaker sent ripples through an international audience Saturday saying his country should be prepared to launch a military attack on Iran that would "neuter" the hard line regime.
But Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who was in attendance, said a military attack on Iran would have negative fallout, and that international sanctions are preferable.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Saturday his party would support military action against Iran that would destroy its ability to fight back while allowing its people to rise up.
Graham surprised attendees at the Halifax International Security Forum with his hawkish rhetoric, saying an attack could cripple Iran's nuclear program as well as its armed forces.
A leading US senator on defense issues said Saturday any military strike on Iran to stop its nuclear program must also strive to take out Iran's military capability.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who sits on the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, said the US shouldn't just consider a surgical strike on Iran's nuclear infrastructure.
"My view of military force would be not to just neutralize their nuclear program, which are probably dispersed and hardened, but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard.
"In other words, neuter that regime," added Graham, who spoke at the Halifax International Security Forum.