South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said the United States would seek direct military involvement if Iran escalates war with Israel.
Senator Graham commented on last week’s attack on Israel by Islamic militant group Hamas in which over 1,300 Israelis were killed during a Sunday appearance on NBC News’ Meet the Press with host Kristen Welker.
The South Carolina Senator noted Israel’s efforts to allow Palestinian citizens to leave Gaza before the Jewish state conducted a ground operation to combat Hamas.
Welker asked Graham if he had spoken with the Biden administration about attacking Iran’s oil industry via military strikes after last week’s attack.
“If Hezbollah, which is a proxy of Iran, launches a massive attack on Israel, I would consider that a threat to the state of Israel, existential in nature,” Graham said. “I’ll introduce a resolution in the United States Senate to allow military action by the United States, in conjunction with Israel, to knock Iran out of the oil business. Iran, if you escalate this war, we’re coming for you.”
Graham confirmed he was “poised to use military force” against Iran to destroy funding for Hamas and Hezbollah.
“The idea that Iran read about this operation in the paper or on television is laughable. Ninety-three percent of Hezbollah and Hamas’s money comes from Iran,” Graham continued. “They’re the source of the problem. They’re the great evil. So, if Hezbollah escalates against Israel, it will be because Iran told them to. Then Iran, you’re in the crosshairs of the United States and Israel.”
The South Carolina Senator also commented on a proposed peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia which appears to be viable as of this weekend.
“I will be going to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the coming days with a group of senators,” Graham announced. “The drive to peace and normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel continues. There’s a desire by both parties to move forward in this effort to normalize relationships.”
Graham said Israel was in discussion over humanitarian aid including “[turning] the water on in the South.”
“They’re urging the Egyptians to let people from Gaza go into the Sinai,” Graham added. “To our friends in Israel, you need the time and space to destroy Hamas. All Palestinians are not the same. If Hamas is destroyed, Israel is safer, and the pathway to peace between the Palestinians and the world gets wider. So, I start this morning somewhat optimistic that Iran’s goal to destroy the peace process between Israel and Saudi Arabia will fail.”
He went on to say:
Israel is trying to find a safe place for Gaza residents. Hamas is trying to stop them from leaving. Israel is trying to encourage them to leave. Our friends in Egypt, you have it in your power to give Gaza residents a safe place. This will be a World-War-Two-type operation, where you go in and destroy the regime, Hamas, and over time, replace it with something else, like we did Germany and Japan. But the Israelis do not want to kill innocent people. They’re going to turn the water on. Every death going forward I blame on Hamas, not Israel.
Graham said he had never felt better about “the drive to peace” with Saudi Arabia and Israel and vowed the United States would continue to assist in peace negotiations.
“We need to change the world as it is,” he said. “Nothing would change the world for the better more than Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States to form agreements to end the Arab/Israeli conflict as we know it.”