(CNN) – Following his tense exchange with John Kerry at Tuesday's Senate hearing on Syria, Sen. Rand Paul said the secretary of state is overstating his certitude that a military strike against the regime of Bashar al-Assad will make the Middle East safer.
"Well, he sounds like he must be a clairvoyant because he can predict the future now and so we should ask him for stock picks, you name it, who's going to win the Kentucky Derby next year if he can guarantee the future," the Kentucky Republican said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
Kerry argued at the hearing that allowing al-Assad to go unpunished for what the administration alleges was his regime's use of chemical weapons could escalate tensions in the Middle East, given that Iran and Hezbollah are two of Syria's biggest allies.
And when Paul argued it's not known whether Assad would use chemical weapons, Kerry interjected, saying: "Senator, it is not unknown."
"If the United States of America doesn't hold him accountable on this, with our allies and friends, it's a guarantee Assad will do it again, a guarantee. And I urge you to go to the classified briefing and learn that," Kerry said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first public hearing after the president said he would seek congressional approval before attacking Syria.
Paul continued to say Tuesday night the situation is too unpredictable.
"No one can guarantee the future. We don't know how Assad will react and I think there's an equal argument to be made if the U.S. bombs him, that it will be more likely that he launches another gas attack, more likely that he might attack Israel. More likely that there will be more instability in the region," Paul said, adding that it's also more likely that Russia and Iran may get more involved.
"So, I think there are arguments to be made on both sides of this, but it's not some kind of slam dunk guarantee that Secretary Kerry makes it out to be," Paul said.
The secretary of state said Israel is prepared to defend itself should Hezbollah decide to attack, and the consequences of inaction by the U.S. far outweigh action when it comes to regional stability and chemical weapons.
"If Iran and Hezbollah are advantaged by the United States not curbing Assad's use of chemical weapons, there is a much greater likelihood that at some point down the road, Hezbollah…will have access to these weapons of mass destruction," Kerry said at the hearing.