Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is seeking the GOP's presidential nomination, said that his top Democratic rival for the White House could broker a better nuclear deal with Iran than the one President Obama negotiated.

He said Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have set up a false option — their deal or war with Iran — in trying to strong-arm Congress into approving it. He said the real choice is between "a good deal and a terrible deal."

"This was the best deal Barack Obama could get because he's [seen as] so weak" internationally, Graham charged. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could do better, he added.

"A 'no' vote" on the deal "empowers the next president" to get a stronger accord constraining Iran's nuclear program and conventional weapons stockpile, he said.

Graham said that everyone wants a diplomatic resolution to the standoff over nuclear weapons between Iran and the West, but that Obama and Kerry were too accommodating.

Kerry is a "secretary of state who wants a deal way too badly," he said about his former Senate colleague after Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz briefed senators on the deal in a classified briefing Wednesday evening.