Lindsey Graham Breaks From Trump on Iran, Urges Stronger Response Than Sanctions

Alex Wong/Getty Images; Tasos Katopodis/Reuters; @CBSNews/Twitter

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) broke from President Donald Trump regarding his new sanctions on Iran.

On Wednesday, the top Republican lawmaker explained his concerns with the president’s newly-announced additional sanctions on the Islamic Republic, with Graham warning that they “fall short” while speaking to reporters.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he had instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “substantially increase sanctions” on Iran.

Graham said that the “maximum pressure campaign” by Trump against Iran “has worked” in the way that the Middle Eastern country’s economy has been “crippled” but “has not changed their behavior.”

The South Carolina senator added that he believes something “beyond sanctions” would need to be done to deter Iran’s “provocative behavior.”

“The only conclusion I think you can reach is that the Iranians, while having been hurt by the maximum pressure campaign, have not been deterred in terms of their provocative behavior. And it’s going to take something, I think, beyond sanctions to achieve that deterrence.”

Graham was pressed on whether or not he believed the president’s plan to increase sanctions would work well, to which he replied that he believes “that additional sanctions will fall short.”

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said that “not acting sends a message” that may push the Islamic Republic to keep up their behavior as they could “feel they can make this kind of action without a response.”

The Wyoming congresswoman also praised the Trump administration for beginning “some of that response” by imposing the new sanctions, but also said that she believes that a “proportional military response” would be the best option against the Iranian regime.

“I also think that a proportional military response is the right way to go, and I’m hopeful that Secretary [Mike] Pompeo is coordinating in that regard with the Saudis,” said Cheney. She also threw her support behind additional sanctions through the United Nations.

Both Cheney and Graham’s foreign policy stances are viewed as hawkish while Trump has been less keen on conflicts.

As IJR previously reported, the president ousted former National Security Adviser John Bolton last week, eliciting mixed reactions from Republican lawmakers.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated for clarity after publication.

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Screwtape
Member

Cheney and Graham are wrong. The US, post-fracking and energy independence, has little to gain by getting into this. We are NOT the world’s police force. If the WORLD’S oil supply is threatened, then why isn’t the world doing somethin about it? Let’s let those nations whose shipping is threatened by Iran act. Let’s let Saudi, who has a YUGE amount of armaments, deal with Iran. The same goes to other Sunni states threatened by their insurgency. This includes Israel. If these nations want our support, then they’d better pay for it in money or resources. We shouldn’t be police… Read more »

Screwtape
Member

Genital,

Yet you said NOTHING when Swalwell threatened to use nukes (as if he could) against American citizens.

You really hate this country and its citizens, don’t you? Yet you’ll need them to pay for your “free” shit.

General Confusion
Member

“Today the sanctions. Tomorrow the Nukes.” Confused James

What a damning comment from such an ignorant person.

Imagine what the other countries around the world could do / would do to US if we used a nuclear weapon in retaliation for something like this. Obviously you have no idea what trouble we would be in. No idea, and we would deserve every bit of it.

You are dangerous.

James
Member

Today the sanctions. Tomorrow the Nukes.

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