Senators say Iran government may be on the ropes

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Civilian protests in Iran suggest this is the beginning of the end for the government in Tehran, two senators now traveling in the Middle East said Sunday.

Saying the Islamic government’s days are numbered, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Iran may try to divert attention from the protests by raising the level of confrontation with Israel.

That threat, he said, coupled with the increasing Hezbollah threat in Lebanon argue for movement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He said he believes progress can be made in the next year or two.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said additional pressures must be brought to bear on Iran.

“I think we have to do everything we can not just to put economic sanctions on Iran because of their development of nuclear weapons but to support the people of Iran, to cry out against the human rights abuses, the terrible repression of the demonstrators and just the freedom of average citizens in Iran,” he said.

The lawmakers spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union.”