Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham discussed what he viewed as a “red line” for U.S. response to Iranian activity Wednesday night on Fox News.
“My red line is if there is any more disruption of shipping in the Strait of Hormuz linked to Iran. Take out their navy, bomb their refineries. … I am not talking about a land invasion,” Graham said.
The influential senator discussed how Iran-Israel tensions play into U.S. action. (RELATED: Iran Frees US Resident Held Since 2015 On Spying Charges)
“What I worry the most about is the conflict between Israel and Iran. We will come to Israel’s aid if that happens. … I would tell the president you were right to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. They are the most murderous regime on the planet, and that’s saying a lot,” Graham said. “The attacks on the oil tankers and the pipelines has to be dealt with, but the big problem is that they go back to enriching in a manner that could lead to a bomb. You are putting Israel in a world of hurt and the entire world should be worried about this.”
Graham added that President Donald Trump has “had it” with Iran and would not let a “second Holocaust” occur.
“If I were the president, I would tell the Iranians that if there is an attack on anything, we will blow up your oil refinery and take you out of the oil business because they are trying to drive up costs by creating chaos,” Graham said.
His discussion of tensions in the region comes after the U.S. and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the nearby Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. traces evidence from the June 13 attacks to Iran, although the country denies culpability.
Graham’s assurance that U.S. action will not include “land invasion” comes as many worry tensions with Iran will be a repeat of the Iraq War.
Iran, the fifth largest oil producer in the world, was not happy when the U.S. did not renew waivers in May for eight countries to import Iranian oil despite sanctions, reported The Washington Post. Iran, the U.S. and countries including the United Kingdom and France signed the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and have been searching for a new normal after Trump pulled out of the deal in May 2018.
Trump railed against what he called “the military-industrial complex” when asked about potential conflict with Iran during an interview with Steve Hilton of Fox News Channel on May 19.
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